gee. like trachoma.
what a lovely moon.
somewhere hereabouts fox is munching something eh.
zebra grass grows wild there. Qayloqay was little he got lost there you know.
no. whatever happened.
somehow he's still alive.
but? every day at the brink alive somehow. nothing serious..
my but what a lovely moon huh.
that mountain what's behind it.
marshes mountains and ricefields. all the same.
more ricefields. fields. pear fields.
and beyond them?
way way beyond?
yes that's what i mean.
there's the sea. who was it. yuh. Qanimm.
they were boasting. the sea's a sky turned into a river.
then it must be also somehow blue huh.
even by day they say it's black. big & black alive.
the sand looks dazzling.
poems by Kusano Shimpei
translated from the Japanese by Cid Coman
& Kamaike Susumu
(Mushinsha / Grossman, 1969
When I was young, if I came upon a book published by
Mushinsha / Grossman – I had to own it. I bought each and
every one. That's how I came to read Frank Samperi, Cid Corman,
Will Petersen, Kusano Shimpei, Rene Char, Eric Sackheim et al.,
what could go wrong? Nothing did. The books were exquisite, an
extra minute or so was taken to enhance the design of the books,
the feel of the books, the looks of the books, and the quality overall was
life changing. You know the little girl you once saw walking on a cloud
in the park with a book under her arm — a Mushinsha book, that was me.
In 1969 when the Shimpei book was published, issued in a hefty
stapled together slipcase, poet and translator Cid Corman performed
a masterstroke, and was at the height of his best years when he wasn’t peering
around for fame and notoriety but sharpening his skills as a poet and a mover.
His introductory prose here and translating prowess reads sword sharp.
[ BA ]