(Being a Canada Dry Mistranslation of four haikus by Yosa Buson)
non-existent, the last one here
paddling some trivial hidden
under the bright night sky
old man’s breath hot down
sweat shone with summer
Jewish early birds–
a hair of mine is a fallen star
plucked before soft rhyme forms
With No Imaginary Part
an open-gate width further
I too am a hobo
of the yawn of this orange day
(Being a Canada Dry mistranslation of High Diver by Kurt Brown)
Queer spined, filth-mongered rainbow
on the smoke-dull risk of precipice
agent provoked and twice ashamed, conscious
our eyes on it; we too were once
composed as beauty hard to understand.
Expleted boys jostle one another
in their ineptitude, half pressed out
on the edge of earthquake risk their eyes
and light seduction of water, smooth but tough
as sound. Whistles echo off the walls.
I cannot tell you what it feels like, balancing on the edge
of effervescence, the girl melting into the woman
it will become supernatural in her tight skin
a torn glabrous halo of limbs stretched up like a marching dream
attempting comprehension and corruption of her tears.
Now, it circumducts a dancer gripping to the convocation
with his toes, and it rides like convulsions in time
then settles again. It waits until it stops,
until it comes together, until there is a balance between
great and indisputable, we turn back to withering light.
Suddenly, his knees bend, arms stretch, ra ra ra
then he abandons it and looks could kill
where she squeezes his neck with her hands
as a fetus rolls backwards in her perfect womb
letting her know that it’s home again for long Autumn.
And then his fingers tearing open water and body
disappearing into her, nothing but a projection
marking what we once were, and the boys turn
into something else, feeling their own bodies
fall dangerously through childhoods spent in love with it.