Apartment Poetry Quarterly

15A              15B              15C              15D              15E              15F


15e Lee Young-Ju, translated by Jae Kim





friends of intimacy
drag this blunder bruise blue towards your outstretched sky
fist frames & here’s where the story ends
or goes grotesque: jangle pop or death metal

the patience of my adorations tested
horror streets, gorecore
guitars, each stick smash
skin drawn tight but boy error

devoid of sky
just holes gushing air
into your space

I am dragged together to tether shelter
until wind wailing eases into something soft,
near silence alone inundating—

sustained note sutured
stitched to ears,
layers of lifeless voices
weaving into fabric

paradise foreshadowed
by this paradox of breath
surrounded by these ghosts
see them unbound slithering

from the holes see them tentative & lurching
into shape from spit moved through
in noise, heat

with those drums lay down
your guns burn
the badges—






sky oranges & glazes
dance recital of bones

bulleted body graced
unseen arisen on toes

lovely hangs head on knees
burning with body & youth

in a closed-off world
survival, they sell it to you

as an emblem of strength
but once a sister I had

strong as [                      ]   resilient as [                      ]

& here now she wraithed
& denim & sneakers ripped






death’s idea
of twilight,

the whole
notes of a
requiem the

                                                                             massed clouds
                                                                             croaked above

                                                                             somber fields







For a brief moment they faded without awareness—

darkness was upon; they misunderstood

                                                                    darkness was same as hallucinating,

they misunderstood
to slip in between
meant adrift
with anchor;

that ascension was a vibration without light, a kind of nonattendance.

                                                       They misunderstood
                                                       morning meant lark
                                                       lunacy & ragged squirrels—

                                                                                                                        a way of being

                                                                                                                        & beyond

an arrival without
cleft or whole
notes diminished
in minors

to the guts of feelings they could not feel

as if,
the wind
were a
kind of
fur rubbed
against the
face only
in imagination,

or that in between where once—

                                   imagine a touch

                                   without actually

                                   being touched




& so
into this
as if,
swarmed bees
stuck with
frenetic legs
not to soar
with unease
still adrift streaks
liquid gelled
into tears
in the air

weak stars— imagination’s tapestry,