I become the tree tho it does not become me. Each branch of a temporarily retrieved memory of a hypersensitive poet with a stormy personality blown apart by tonight’s rain. Down the street workmen build a house in the forest for the wealthy, eating lunch in dirty trucks shoes off white stockinged feet hanging out car windows ramen in styrofoam cups and throwaway chopsticks. It’s impossible to know the forest’s prerequisites. A large owl flies over the young grass the plump brown rabbit ate yesterday. The poem finally accepts the reverberations of the forest. There’s an operatic grammar to be found among birds and insects, but language cannot stop to find it. The hills only appear to be tragic. Once glance is never enough. How the forest haunts me. Each night I dream a blade of grass. My heart becomes hollow and everything becomes wilderness. It’s precisely here where my thoughts turn to plywood.
(the forest fades) (or i do) feel myself falling in the
matched by the violent wind mirror neurons
the impossibility of entering the forest
i decide to begin eating the forest, starting with a
small patch of grass
the rabbit did not eat (costing ten thousand yen)
one cannot enter the mind of the forest
as in a film where it’s always night and wet
if i act in a manner in which the forest approves
it could make me pathetically happy
Originally from the U.S., Jane Joritz-Nakagawa lives in Japan. Her eighth book of poems, “Distant landscapes,” is forthcoming in 2015. A review of her most recent book and chapbook, FLUX and wildblacklake, respectively, appeared last year in Plumwood Mountain. Email is welcome at <janejoritznakagawa AT gmail DOT com>
A longer series of excerpts, including the above, is available here.