Mise-en-Scène by Suphil Lee Park

Added overnight is another horizon
twenty degrees off the original.
Skydivers are spotted a few imaginary
feet above the ground after landing
Migrating birds drift between lines,
flapping slantwise. Night after night
more horizons slit into view, crowd
out the notion of horizon. Had this
happened centuries ago, Columbus
and Galilei would have pondered
differently, put our moments of sanity
at the risk of reinvention. The line
of sight, tilted, makes everyone sleep
at the angle of a lopsided horizon.
It begins to take longer for a day to begin
to begin. Every sun lingers baffled
across the gloaming fissures, like
an invertebrate animal, each leg
thrashing in the wake of thoughts
of its own. Clocks obsolete, skies
cracked mirrors about to collapse,
greetings go warmer: stay inside
your slanting mind. With more
than one horizon to pursue, no one
wants to stay home with her cats.
A waterfront view is panoramic chaos,
windows displaying water meeting sky
at all spokes of the horizons, like splices
of DNA. The Earth now must be a new
species, they say, the Earth now must be
a father! The East think they foresaw this,
having called the sky man and the earth
woman for centuries, with their idea
of yin and yang, but cannot figure out
if this is due to too many women or too few.
The West—well, they can’t locate themselves,
the world off-kilter like this. Which way
now is westward, they ask, how to redefine
the notion of direction. Hollywood alone
loves numerous sunsets to disappear into,
all endings turned open-ended, while religions
fight over which horizon is real, and nations
over how to divide the sky and water again.
Meanwhile retirees most lament the loss
of their favorite restaurants owned by
doomsday believers. Children dream
of Hippasus drowning in the aftermath
of surd and Franz Ferdinand blood-jammed
in his tight suit, and wake up into the world’s
bizarre sequence of events, buzzing
with the question: what happens next?

Suphil Lee Park is a bilingual writer who was born and grew up in South Korea. She received a BA in English from NYU and an MFA in Poetry from the University of Texas at Austin. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in ImageGlobal Poetry AnthologyPloughsharesQuarterly West, and the Massachusetts Review, among many othersHer fiction is forthcoming in J JournalStorm Cellar, and the Iowa Review.

Categorized as Issue Two