Cansessa Park Reading Series
708 Montgomery Street @ Montgomery
San Francisco, CA
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
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.
and further in
the innocent window
Screams are forced to run radiantly and full speed
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
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
The water mark
Mirror in my sleep
Measuring the presence of light.
Hope to see you there,
Canessa Park Reading Series