Published 18 June 202122 July 2021 · Poetry / Friday Poetry Poetry | Gwanghwamun protests Dan Disney & || pointing screens through a scree of screens, to memorize our memories >>> a Gwanghwamun (vb.) of shuddering shapes, 2,000,000 light-cascading hands rising through the moth-like snow, falling soft in neon drift, our glowerings on stone-faced fields a weather, accretive, a citizenry at the feet of Bukhan Mountain turned splendent, each a unit (glowing) >>> (adapted from the 3rd chapter of The Lotus Sūtra, translated into Korean as 법화경in 1422; the 269th National Treasure of Korea) & || in an urban tundra, warmed, who was it taught our chuntering could work the magic of an ember into civilization’s fires at the pediments, we ask was this tyranny as histories broke presidentially & the syntax of a tyrant’s tyrant-father (dead) dipped through the heavens of hero-myth, our footfalls plundered snowdrift & we quickly learned how tyranny smiles >>> & || in Seoul’s National Theatre it is 1974, the regalias, tiered, assemble, then 5 shots, ricochet, bad opera through a soldier cabal, dictator’s wife Yuk Yŏng-su & pfft (stray bullet) collide & while she’s dying the dictator props a lectern, speechifying … in the Blue House (1979) his spy chief draws a gun, shoots at point-blank range >>> Yuk Yŏng-su, 29.11.1925-15.08.1974 Pak Chŏnghŭi, 14.11.1917-26.10.1979 & || while legislature whirs through another occult session, Perception Management P/L at work through a clinch of mouths in uniform (conjuries of border strife, a rising Tetris of banalities keeping tyranny deftly dull) as our smartphones spam opinion in neck-bending algorithms & tyranny recircuits, reinvests the maze with unstrange power >>> & || it is 2016, tyrant’s daughter Blue-Housing now President Park, when the Sewol sank, remembers (richly) the old-guard friends, zombie-drugged / channeling ghosts / under dioramas of shaking fact, the knife / partying mad / elsewise soundbites ravening through the weeks indisposed &’…the snows scry impeach! (an asylum of hysterias, a marionette mouth moving up, down) >>> & || show me another city where a myriad horde of febrile folk outgather a coldest month’s snow clouds shoutful below unblinking statues (umbrellas, then fists, & next came blades Hong Kong maniac cars through walking crowds Charlottesville glass, & stones, petroleum air Kasserine & this regime shuts everything down Mashhad & this regime shuts everyone down Rakhine State & headlines rule this shadow state ███████ & this regime blasts all to hell Rojava / Western Kurdistan) >>> & || while we quickly understood some figured speech ～ blunt force, forensic precision, boiling point, forced rendition ～ leered through the morning internet parlances of State, a casket language deathmasking debellations of total war, amid vast flocks of goosedown coats none foresaw that grey-robed silence dousing at the Blue House gates, in flames unscreaming a monk-shaped mudrā >>> i.m the Venerable Sŏ Chŏngwŏn, 09.11.1953 – 09.01.2017 & || respect internal as grammar here, sentences slanting down, across, up, a social position syntactical, corners aswarm with baby cops nursing batons & sunglassed self-doubt (perhaps a crack force of nastier bastards kept somewhere underground, singing brute anthems, polishing guns) but where were the tyres burning on roads tear gas water canon ziplock cuff riot squads cutting our shapes into form >>> & || beyond the sockpuppet stories wheezing dystopian catarrh, beyond the freeze-dried dead language keeping fear at our always ㊀ screens, beyond the thinktanks zapping civic domains with bad faith, beyond the engineered noisescapes & shepherded cliques infotained, our hope re-synched, the city flocking with the human weight of no, our protest a metonym or static thrum >>> & || a sunless asterisk, this conjunction of Met stops underground shuffling our soft tissue through networked storeys, although they say the hills are high (tethered to an inward song) each mountain sits below the heavens yet, & while autocrats censored / rewrote text (futures of the past), under Bukhansan in brittle sludge, we slid ululant & spectral, addressing fog with song >>> (after lines from Yang Saŏn, 1517-1584) & || we understood also if it is a lock IT CAN BE UNLOCKED or if it cyphers, deepfakes, a thing to unshow real things IT CAN BE UNRAVELED, CRACKED, or if it is in mouths talking infectious with the viral tropes of FUTURE + PRESENT SYSTEMS, INC. then we’d noun outside the noise games (newer syntax, being-together a means of thought, a chime at hope) >>> Dan Disney Dan Disney has lived in Korea for the last dozen years, where he teaches with the English Literature Program at Sogang University, in Seoul. Together with Matthew Hall, he is the editor of New Directions in Contemporary Australian Poetry (Palgrave 2021). More by Dan Disney › Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places. If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate. Related articles & Essays First published in Overland Issue 228 24 November 202324 November 2023 · Friday Poetry Poem with vertical viewfinder Shari Kocher If in future an image of mine— of course, I have made the if-ness of your looking a multiple Ferris wheel turned to trolley car trundling down the street. Damn, I will show you something all right here, inside the daily or what you call private. First published in Overland Issue 228 3 November 20233 November 2023 · Poetry our neighbours poem Ender Başkan our neighbours face appears above the fence – hello. our neighbours have a chat with us. our neighbours learn our names. our neighbours become our friends. our neighbours landlord thinks the market is ripe. our neighbours are told to leave. our neighbours try to buy their house at an exorbitant price to keep their kids in the school zone. our neighbours are denied.