- onDecember 21, 2017
- Vol.38 Winter 2017
- byKim Un
- Let’s Write a Novel (The Poetry Collection)
Let’s Write a Novel
Don’t write a novel that’s too long. Nor one too short. End it where it gets boring. It’s not about how many pages it is but how long it feels. Be absorbing enough to be read anywhere, the twist just enough to perplex. Its narrative should betray every question. Its interiority impervious to any answer. Find a protagonist like that. Cast from the streets, audition indoors, stop right at the red carpet at awards ceremonies. If you need more words, make a different film. If you need more awards, don’t film at all. Return to write poetry. Write a novel devoid of poetry. Put in important sentences that can but don’t have to be there. Rally more words or make them lonelier. Periods should shed fat tears all alone. Other punctuation should be contemptuous and drunk enough to sleep with each other. Was it good for you? It was! Scout out a good dating spot for couples tired of that kind of conversation. If not on the bed, then where? Unless it’s in the bathroom, don’t worry about where to lower the pants or lift the skirt or put on the underwear again. It’s the people who make the places. Places stand in for people. Spaces should enter people and eventually dry out. Be understanding of the romantic guy who’s homesick for his dried-out homeland, but keep him at a distance. Ensnare with one word the interiority of a man with oft-changing emotions. His hair should be ordinary, like that of people in hospitals or nursing homes or prisons. They don’t need a lot of advice. Give this advice a good stir and refuse it. For a traveling salesperson, create a flaw befitting a traveling salesperson, and then bandage it. If the flaw keeps flowing, bandage the anus. If there’s a severe cough, mix up the coughs and change scenes. To drier weather. Messier is the face of the character who in the conclusion washes his hands, revealing my squeamishness by his completion, and then neglect him more. Work out the novel that comes after the one being written. Go back to your first inspiration and lose your way. Or find it in an alley. Or an icy road where a speeding bicycle is described like a train, or full of longing like a train station, or something obvious like a breakup should all be avoided as inspirations. Before that, publish. Make the invitations cards baffling so people won’t know they’re going to a publication party. Start writing the novel in the instant they’re mailed out. The movie should begin there, and end there, too. Be like the friend’s father who despises and misunderstands bad plotting. Reach out an olive branch to the friend of that friend. Include scenes of natural misunderstanding. Fisticuffs are unnecessary but keep them short. It’s too dramatic, so think about the length. In the next novel.
The People in the Mouth
I raise the hackles of everything. The tick-tock of moral battles splay out in my mouth. If someone died, it’s from my tongue mispronouncing. He mistakenly twisted my tongue.
One person’s mispronunciation paralyzed a flooded city. There’s too much rain, a cadaver floats by. I’m here to be part of a riot.
Every pronunciation and hate evaporate in the noise. I could close my mouth on behalf of all the people. Snap, and they close their mouths. Or even die. Else I’d be speaking the people who are not of this city.
He returned from inside the rumor. The mouth closes, full of persons and people soon to become events. I’m here to be part of the masses. I may be thinking or listening, being part of an event. Like saliva pooling in the ear.
I plant my flag on many streets. Some houses have already opened their doors. Hereby proclaiming, My land is mine.