Carnival

     Jack Jung

 

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.