> Page not found. Viva! >> Vera blissful and breathless in daylight’s profusion, singing through grass streets stretching seawards to the pipelines, shoves the matter deep in her coat pocket and marches, unfollowed, along cool bitumen avenues, her feet seeking skin prints in the improbably husked net. >> Brims of water and the morning, sirens from the soft ward of someone’s conscience, eradicated. >> Human city of bacterial plants, filled with ripe organisms, dead organs and the ghost of a tissue, like a frozen sheet of snow, in the smudged sky, the toxic sky, called home. >> Clothe me in the colour of my departure, then sew up my eyes with city needles, urban thread. >> Dusted with a subway smear. >> We will make stories from the pork and vinegar, roll these in the plotlines of sesame and salt, dip once into the ever-changing vinegar bowl, now greasy with pork fat, picking up where we first left off, being sure also to grab in our shining silver chopsticks without story or meaning a small sliver of white onion, and then taste the whole mysterious historical combination on the ever-unfolding storyboards of our pink wet tongues. >> But in the city of Rau all of these instruments have been silent and sad for a very long time now. >> This is your guarantee. >> Zookeepers have forgiven animals for lesser escape attempts; now comes the time for you to size up the wend of the wires. >> Alone, in the chamber reserved for you in this newest of love-hotel streets, you switch off the flourescent bulb instead, before cracking the set-list in your imaginary, trembling hand. >> Driveways old and empty, bollards wrapped in multi-coloured wire. >> Twenty eight times upon a time there was a dead city called Opa, and this is how many stories you will have to endure before anyone is willing to tell you behind which screen or on which page it even exists. >> A multicity referring and cataloguing itself again and again, until even the patterns of its forced assimilations begin to resemble constellations, beehives, shrouds, lives. >> Odes and elegies, sung in minor keys. >> For once I hear nothing. >> Typical. >> Strawberry soju forever. >> The burning resin between us, behind us, in our heads. >> Lonesome peaks, jagged. >> They can be compared with the other cities, existing (as we do) on warped and tortured scales. >> These are the times when you would like to run. >> When will you cross that line thatched with straw, mountainous with geese? >> Caught in the updrafts of belching subways, a new mythology to replace the reverse dream. >> I’ve turned my safety off, having no further use for disguises, stealth or radioactive hair. >> The city is full of us – fistfights galore. >> Money strafes us all. >> You. >> Something tells me no one would try to stop me. >> Splashing, exhausted, into a pool of algae and carp, because no one was there to catch me when I fell. >> A city no one living in my home town has ever heard of, nor ever will. >> Await the final outcome. >> This little piggy stays home. >> You’re not the only one praying for dawn. >> Couples stroll under the avenues of greening trees, whispering lines of poetry, like thieves unhurried in the dark. >> Blast. >> But their dreams – ah! If only you could see them, feel a sleeping heart’s beat! When morning comes, be sure to keep a map beside you, if only to reassure your nocturnal half that Basi is real, just like the obscure system of pressure points that is said to lead to another most ordinary city, that of the smile. >> Behind us, mountains; ahead, cartwheels of conversation, opening. >> Shoulder arms. >> Night comes, and the neon day begins. ——>
Viva! Page not found. Viva! City of marshall arts. Viva! Grape soda. Viva! Song lyrics spread from mouth to mouth. Viva! Your mouth, my lips. Viva! Trouble girl. Viva! City of endless planes. Viva! The angel of hips. Viva! Snowy boots. Viva! Timpani. Viva! Pansori. Viva! Ko Un. Viva! Hiddink. Viva! Holland. Viva! Pa ra pa pa pum. Viva! Namsan. Viva! Bukhansan. Viva! Hongdae. Viva! Seventies record collections. Viva! The hiss and pop of vinyl. Viva! Dancing boys. Viva! Moriapo. Viva! Mokochukcha. Viva! Demilitarised bones. Viva! Hangul carved from snow on the rear window of a white car. Viva! Strangely addictive. Viva! Isaac. Viva! I love PC Bang. Viva! Squat toilet. Viva! Navy Seal. Viva! Captain of Pirates. Viva! JSA. Viva! Old Boy. Viva! Starcraft. Viva! Bulguksa. Viva! Sansachun. Viva! Comfortably nunchukka. Viva! Imaginary kitties. Viva! Quiny. Viva! Perpetual reconstruction. Viva! Visa run. Viva! Alien identification. Viva! Professors. Viva! Lost in translation. Viva! Zero transmigration. Viva! Foreign exchange. Viva! Weguk. Viva! Snowblasts. Viva! Magic won. Viva! get on up. Viva! Sex machine. Viva! Ride. Viva! Vanishing. Viva! KTX. Viva! Seoul Station. Viva! Volunteer Jehovahs. Viva! Outer Circle Line. Viva! Christmas marking. Viva! Stevie. Viva! Kevin. Viva! Young Eun. Viva! Anna. Viva! Melanie. Viva! Tan. Viva! Joseph. Viva! Sean. Viva! Anouk. Viva! Kat. Double viva! Soju Panda. Viva! Nika and Primoz. Viva! Bridget. Viva! Jooyoung. Viva! Moonsun. Viva! An Sonjae. Viva! Sogang. Viva! Space heaters. Viva! Ondol. Thank bloody viva! Hanok. Viva! River and Mountain. Viva! Folk songs. Viva! Busan. Viva! PIFF. Viva! Love hotel. Viva! Sting Hotel. Viva! Hmmm … Viva! Soju. Viva! Baekseju. Viva! Makkolli. Viva! Viva! Viva! The moon. Viva! Dim stars. Viva! Morning calm. Viva! Dongdaemun. Viva! Namdaemun. Viva! Jongno sam-ga. Viva! Anguk. Viva! Sinchon. Viva! Hanna doh, juseyo. Viva! Gamsa hamnida. Viva! Hoju saram. Viva! Soju saram. Viva! Yi Sun Shi. Viva! Turtle boat. Viva! Han. Viva! Terminal. Viva! Page not found. Viva!
City of organisms. City of organs. City of tissue. Organisms that change shape depending on the flow of traffic. Organs that thump and glow, in time with the jingling of beggars in the aisles. Tissue that blows in the wind and is mistaken for snow, finally alighting upon a loudspeaker. City of poisoned organisms pelting streetwalkers with shame, bludgeoned in turn by firehoses and backdrafts. City of poisoned organs that sing songs about the girl who was supposed to be here yesterday, with just the faintest taste of Christmas carols. City of poisoned tissue, readable in the grey cheeks of strangers, interpreted by the buzz lights of the underpass, irretrievably cold. City of organic organs and hipster drills, banshee wails and coo-eyed blubber, wilting on the footpaths and draped across the bridges, inviting guests to their strange womb-like corps. City of organ tissue sandblasted and bent, rent from the chaos hole of delirium and banged up on newsprint and grape soda. City of tissue organisms eradicated by the serpent-wail of thyme, fists gnashed on the energy pill of transmigration, hollow and vile. City of humans. City of bacterium. City of plants. Humans that change shape depending upon the snow of tissue. Bacterium that thumps and glows, like miniature foot-pedal organs. Plants that blow in the wind, giving the unharnessed spinning energy of the planet a silhouette. City of poisonous humans caught up in the mash-grind of carbon disintegration, flopped on benches, tooled on shoeshine. City of poisonous bacterium visible only from the sunspots on Mars, licenced to shrill, band-aided as a precautionary pleasure. City of poisonous plants, ring-barked by scientists, drooling sap and shedding leprous leaves. City of human bacterium that croaks, splattered on the windmills of pain, ground down by the aching of boots, stapled to the gum freeze of spring. City of bacterial plants, viral and mutant as yesterday’s breeze, shape-shifting the sky and catapulting through smog. City of human plants, mocked by the sapiens, indulged by the worms, pitied by everyone for their willowy wrists. Human city of bacterial plants, filled with ripe organisms, dead organs and the ghost of a tissue, like a frozen sheet of snow, in the smudged sky, the toxic sky, called home.
City as weary as a tree that cries leaves. City on the edge of hopelessness, on the duckboard of despair. The pathos of a rushed existence, coupled with an addiction to shuffling. Manacled to the winter sun-dial, I tripped upon a field of transparent snow. Windows were curtained, dogs barked all night at the makkolli moon. Rubbish bins filled with mysteries and secrets. The scent of a cigarette smoked by the man in the dark overcoat walking ahead of you in the lane. The irresistible soundtrack of dance music bleating from the stacks parked out the front of discount stores. City of sock stalls. Orange tents that could be situated on a battlefield, soup kitchens for the passing crowds. Fatty fish spirals on skewers, paper cups filled with machine broth, its clouds like sheets of white mist that hit the face, drunk. Balloons kissing ceilings. Background noise on handphones, the tinny voices of disconnected souls. Sweet city, I will miss the memory of your hand in my pocket. I will miss your ineluctable dance moves. I will miss the temporary communities waiting at traffic lights. I will miss the community police boxes. I will not miss the pigeon catchers in the citizen’s parks. I will not miss the weird glances of passers-by. I will not miss the subway queues, the partly-constructed blast-doors, the shuddering punch of wind between skyscrapers. I don’t not know what else I will remember once I have left for another land on a beetle. You are Morgenland, the next chapter in my breathless correspondence with the world, hanging on to the tassels of this magic carpet, history. Dreaming at night of a new myth, featuring glad girls, hassled boys and everyone in uniform. Gazing upon the neon double of my eye, broken by the shimmer of hardware stores, singing rooms and architectural imaginations. Promised a dynamic experience, I find myself disappointed only with my own fear of failure, in another language. What else can I ask of you, city of repeating pleasures? City of dares and disbelief. City of strings, red tape and handshakes. City of wrists. Woven through with golden ribbons, city of mourning calm and sweet bread. Green tea, red buns, black night. Clothe me in the colour of my departure, then sew up my eyes with city needles, urban thread.
City of sadness engines and wet kindling. The tell-tale signs of tampered seals, broken message sticks and gravity defeated. Neon diodes for restless leaves. Coming to the end of a demolished line, and realising that you’ve left your instruments at the coup. Riots raining down like spent cartridges, with no way of telling who’s abused, who’s simply rumbling. Shadowed by a mallet, mimicking the sound of grisly gums. Lights explode, revealing the weird interstices between our sweaty hands. You’re running. I’m bringing up the rear, like a goofy bear caught with his nose in honey. Sunsmiles, rapids and cantilever bridges. Did you bring the ordnance? Damn. Strapping incendiary clocks to our thighs, I wince in pain at the slightly radioactive buzz. Chills emanating from yesterday’s snow piles. A dog whose fur is the colour of dirty snow disappears amongst the garbage, urinates and then jumps out at a passing electric vehicle. Misses. Smile, you’re on planet Scar TV. Midnite rendezvous, a tattoo of the times on my wrist. You check for a pulse. It seems I’m still here. But are we? Eradicating plans and reassigning code wards. My good friend, whom I have never met, tells me of his mind colds. I wish his breath. I find footprints in the paint. Someone has been here before. The little girl bursts out of my chest and begins to sing. It’s all too much. The doors have all been ripped off their hinges. Solitude creeps. The tags have been busted, the trees have been replanted in a different arrangement, probably symmetrical when seen fromn the air. All of their branches have been drenched in fairy lights. Walking between them brings on the dizziness again. Then I’m off to the terminal. A dog barks, or is that you coughing? Specks of blood on a yellow handkerchief. Definitely interwar. Blisters with minds, socks with ammunition compartments. Sounds impossible. Bangings from the cellar. Ripples of rumour beneath the surface of a frozen pond. Turtles in the snow. Hunchback mountains. The blur of safety. Smells like veneer. Dusted with a subway smear.