A clown’s parakeet masters paraphrase
Answers for antics fanatics orchestrate
Price gouging matinee for bloodless reenacting
Scenes from history none rallying lived,
Circusgoers primed by bird’s rhymes reminisce
Eager to believe in maneater whale-kin
Cut out from beached guts its bleached meat
And from dissonance resemblances
Emerge. The émigré troupe divulge
Harrowing hours spent in snow, the monster’s spine
Lifting up alpine peaks over oceanic abyss
Until washing up near this fishing village
They have searched far and wide.
They get the applause they deserve.
Lawyers come to hammer out fine print.
Jack Jung is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where he was a Truman Capote Fellow. His translations of Korean poet Yi Sang’s poetry and prose are published in Yi Sang: Selected Works by Wave Books. He is the American Literary Translation Association’s 2021 Emerging Translator Mentorship Program Mentor for Korean poetry. He currently teaches Korean poetry translation at Literature Translation Institute of Korea.