“Where in the World Is Kim Jong-un?” by Clara McLean

Clara McLean


The Supreme Leader has vanished.
He may have sneaked out
during lockdown. There is no lockdown.
He may be getting his hair cut.
Trump has a very good idea
where he is. He has no idea,
nobody has an idea, ideas
are contagious, we are getting our ideas
under control. There is no virus
in North Korea. His hairdresser
shapes Kim Jong-un’s forelocks
into Mickey Mouse ears.
His brother was banished
years ago. He had tried to sneak
into Tokyo Disneyland
on a forged passport. Also, the brother
was later assassinated.
We may know, we may have heard,
we never said it was likely.
Kim Jong-un has joined the Supremes.
He hasn’t been seen since April 11.
The last time he disappeared,
he emerged inexplicably
limping. He cannot be weakened.
He’s been spotted in an online
dance class, tiny feet tapping.
He’s waiting in line for groceries,
toeing the divider tape.
He’s peddling $7 masks
to desperate peasants.
He stares straight at the camera.
He has a sensitive mouth.
His heart is enlarged, it is inflamed,
it is maybe exploding. His wife has been singing
from the balcony. We do not speak
of his wife. We’re monitoring reports
very closely. His official birthday
was moved up a year, to a more
auspicious date. There have been
no reports. The hairdresser
touches his lacquered hair

from Poets Respond
May 5, 2020


Clara McLean: “Kim Jong-un’s disappearance and possible illness was a capstone in a week of surreal news stories.”

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