NUDE OF GLASS

Torii Shozo

Once
on the blue atmospheric pressure of the sea,
floated one
transparent conical figure;
its shadow's
white
ecstasy
is black.

The inner black
of the white
with
the inner white's
black's
tragic explosion

now stretches
for the time to die.
Immortality's space is corroded.
Only
the reflected image of solitude:
there was a parabola.



NEGATIVE SCENERY

Torii Shozo


Facing southward,
an overpass extends.
At dusk
Bosh's town
is a mask of
melted fish bones.
Wingless birds
falling into disorder
float frolick...
The inner blinking desire of a glass door
of an underground cavern
in an old cracked castle
while its labyrinth's shadow
is disappearing:
to become small segments of wind
swirling uplifted.
How can the world be tranquil?
The man standing on the overpass:
It's barely possible:
Shining from the headlight, Rene Magritte.
There's a boundless desert through
the guy's backside.


Translations by Taylor Mignon


Torii Shozo, poet, publisher of Trap, book designer, and Taoist hermit, died of cancer in 1994. He was a member of the influential group Vou led by Kitasono Katsue. "Negative Scenery," his death poem, appeared in the second issue of Electric Rexroth.

Taylor Mignon's column "Poetry Mignette" appears monthly in Japan Times. Editor of the "Contemporary Writing from Japan" issue of Prairie Schooner (Summer, 1996), he is currently collating and translating material for an anthology of Japanese Avant-Garde and experimental poetry, with the working title Blue Flame.

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