Wednesday, October 27, 2004 coming to Canessa. The link to the "The Other Side of the Valley (Wine Country Home)" defeats the Black Cat, so you'll just have to come to the upcoming November exhibition.
~~ululations~~: "Introduction for Sawako Nakayasu at the Bowery Poetry Club, 'a field of fried umbrellas'," Sawako Nakayasu - Read and Texture Notes
the well-nourished moon: Report: Sarah Manguso & Jordan Davis & Chris Edgar land in California
Canessa Park was perfect. I sat between Del Ray Cross and James. Sarah's friend Kayne was there, and Kayne's boyfriend I think, who isn't a poet but who seemed similarly inflamed. He interrogated Jordan about poetry in the bar later (Why did you choose poetry over the other arts. How do you all find each other. What do you do. Why do you do it. Wherefore poetry?) OK so I also interrogated Jordan but know today that I missed so many questions I wanted to ask and repeated several obvious ones twice or even three times as the night went on. Bushmills. The bartender asking the waitress if we were a bunch of Irish protestants in the corner. Canessa Park was perfect because of the light. And the turquoise doors. And the brick. And the people in the wooden chairs, and remembering Peter Gizzi and Elizabeth Willis standing in front of the desk reading there and Brent Cunningham sitting at the desk reading there and Andrew Felsinger also sitting. Sarah, Chris and Jordan stood in front of the desk while they read. Intimate as in being able to hear the audience's various types of breath-as-response, one of which is laughter.

I had forgotten about the two turquoise doors to the bathrooms at Canessa, how the sink is wide and public, just outside the turquoise doors, and how washing my hands there feels communal and safe.

Jordan said that he'd wanted to read at Canessa since either 1996 or 2000, I can't remember which trip.…

Here is the love poem Del wrote during the reading last night:
I love you against the red bricks

your mouth is sort of open
and you wonder if I'm
breathing on you as
you lean against the
red bricks with your
mouth slightly open

I believe I could
find you easily
even though
it is a shame
you are not here
against the red
(orange and pink)
bricks which I
push you into
so hard

you don't want me to
and yet you let me

look at the socket
beneath your cheeks
aqua blue
which the spotlight lights
where the paintings
are supposed to be

where you lean
slightly against your
open mouth
and its red bricks
so discordant

Monday, October 11, 2004

Cansessa Park Reading Series
708 Montgomery Street @ Montgomery
San Francisco, CA
Admission $5

Sunday October 24th @ 5 pm

Sawako Nakayasu / Eric Selland

Come hear the authors and some translations of 20th
Century Japanese poets: Takashi Hiraide, Ryoko
Sekiguchi, Chika Sagawa, Masato Inagawa, Ayane Kawata,
and Hirata Toshiko.

Sawako Nakayasu writes poetry, prose, and performance
text, and translates poetry from Japanese to English.
Her first book, So we have been given time Or,
(Verse, 2004) was selected for the 2003 Verse Prize.
Other works include Clutch (Tinfish chapbook, 2002),
Balconic (Duration e-book, 2003) and Nothing fictional
but accuracy or arrangement (she (e-Faux, 2003). She
edits Factorial Press and the translation section for
HOW2, and can be contacted at sawako at factorial stop org.

Eric Selland's translations of Japanese Modernist and
contemporary poets have appeared in a variety of
journals and anthologies, most recently in The Poem
Behind the Poem: Translating Asian Poetry on Copper
Canyon Press. He is a long time resident of the Bay
Area, currently living on the peninsula where he works
as a technical translator. His most recent book of
poems is The Condition of Music on Sink Press.

A sampling of poetry trans. by Nakayasu:


Like a cloud
Insects pierce green through the orchard
crawl the undersides of leaves
ceaselessly multiplying.
Mucous expelled from nostrils
seem like blue mist falling.
At times, they
without a sound flutter and vanish into the sky.
The ladies, always with irritation in their eyes
gather the unripe fruit.
Countless scars are attached to the sky.
Hanging like elbows.
And then I see,
the orchard cleaving from the center.
A bare patch emerges there, burning like a cloud.

May the danger which has grown hairs always be holding
your hand. May the unjust prayers and select worries
keep rocking my lungs. And then without the days going
by, or the ability ever to confirm the sound of love,
may the ashes of the bones of stories repeatedly
burned cook our deeds inside the furnace of the truth
of things destroyed.
Midway down the deep darkness of the trash bin, the
kid plum finally caught on. Á°h, I am about to rot
away, without ever having leapt, never having known
anything tough and shiny. And then, through the wet
wrappers and bread crumbs, he slid down two
body-lengths. Cheering is heard from afar.

Flinging inwards
and further in
the innocent window
Screams are forced to run radiantly and full speed

From Seal
by Inagawa Masato
(Tr. Eric Selland)

People continuously scatter
Here and there
Words also scatter
Here and there

Not withstanding a period of discord
The position of death darkening to green
Shifts to a position of minute solitude
Limitlessly blurring the position of the work
Then deriding both failure and hope
He pursues a frenzied, round life
Their number left the same
Cut off from the original intent
Each thing supported made over again
And steadily on into something too deficient
He loses the words before his very eyes
To an unsaid punishment
Repeatedly he discards the same name and commentary
Even to this long period of discord of the metaphor of
the work
He answers only with his own name and identity

from "Arc Tangent":

Outside the sentence
Rain is falling
As if a porous film
Set between waking and sleep.

The parched mouth and
Uneasiness of night remain.
It dissolves. The sickness does not dissolve.

Always the expected visit
The order to awaken
And selection

The water mark
Mirror in my sleep
Measuring the presence of light.

Hope to see you there,
Avery Burns
Literary Director
Canessa Park Reading Series

Wednesday, October 06, 2004