Margin: Exploring Modern Magical Realism


Reflections on the 2002 Korea/
Japan FIFA World Cup

A young man bowed politely
His head snapped off at the stem
The head hit the ground with a thud
The young man kicked the head
The head bounced away
Bounced politely into the lap of a girl
The girl was sitting in the grass
She cradled the head and stroked it
The body without its head staggered in the distance
The girl watched its blind feints and lunges
She asked the head if it wanted its body back
Not quite yet, said the head, Let it wander around a little
It will go to pieces once it realizes what it's lost
Let's wait and watch it come groveling back
It always puts on quite a show
And the head liked the girl's lap
It liked being cradled and stroked without its body parts getting in the way
It liked being the center of attention
Sooner or later the rest of the body would grope its way back to them
Sooner or later it must tumble upon their intimacy
See, said the head
Already the young man's arm was crawling toward them in the grass
The fingers of the hand clutched the grass and dragged the arm after it
Not far behind it a leg came bounding along
Bounding along gamely and drunk-like but bounding along nevertheless
Somewhere in the distance the torso lay writhing in the grass
As soon as it learned to sit up it toppled over again
But in this way discovered a method of locomotion proper to its kind
Clumsy, clownish, in breathtaking somersaults of slow urgency it too would come
Last of all would come the young man's cock-and-balls
How it inched forward in the grass would remain a mystery
But come it would
It would come because desire is shameless in its naked persistence
Because the blunders of instinct once set in motion are unerring
Because a cock-and-balls creeping forward in the grass
Moving without seeming to move but closing in all the same
Is a marvel no girl has ever yet been able to resist
(Folktale Brat and spurned Frog Prince herein notwithstanding)
Picking up and cradling in the palm of her hand
At least that first time

r o b e r t   p e r c h a n
p u s a n,   s o u t h   k o r e a

bar graphic

margin home | contents | links | reading list | marginalia | contributors | staff | guidelines | kudos | subscriptions | contact us

Want to know about UPDATES and NEW ADDITIONS to MARGIN?
Try our - S P A M L E S S - opt-in subscription
It's absolutely free!

Layout, design & revisions Tamara Kaye Sellman, Webmaster
Active home URL:
(also: html)


TERMS OF USE: This site contains copyrighted materials, including but not limited to text and graphics. You may not use, copy, publish, upload, download, post to a bulletin board, include in any weblog or otherwise transmit, distribute or modify any elements of this site in any way, except that you may download one copy of such contents on any single computer for your own personal, non-commercial use, provided you do not alter or remove any copyright, author attribution or other proprietary notices.

Press Kit entrance
Rev'd 2006/05/16