homoerotic, hot springs, Jangsan, Korea, Kwang-ho, mountain, San-shin, sonnet
He took a stone’s face. He took a rock’s face.
Now when I’m out walking in the mountains
I do not know what he looks like. The grace
I called love has left me. There were thousands
of souls here. His face was not one who passed
me. I first spied San-shin at a hot springs
up near Jangsan. Knobby old man with vast
balls. He laughed at my ignorance of things.
Mountain gods like sex rough. For a whole week
I went around with lockjaw. But he tired
of me, or maybe I wasn’t up to
his hard transcendental standards. His peak
is bare. The cold god I once desired
thought that I was only good for a screw.
* * *
Note: In the Korean peninsula, San Shin is a mountain spirit venerated in both Buddhist temples and by local shamans. To say he is the embodiment of a mountain top fails to capture his true meaning, for all peaks in Korea are considered sacred spots for the gods, which might account for the large number of hot springs and spas that claim to be the personal favorite of San Shin.