THE WORLD WITH NO WORDS Poem by Ryuichi Tamura



The world with no words is a sphere in bright daylight
I am an upright man

The world with no words is the world of poetry at noon.
I cannot stay horizontal


I must use words to find the world with no words
I must find a sphere in bright daylight, poetry at noon
I am an upright man
I cannot stay horizontal


In the bright daylight of June
the sun was above my head
I was among a huge herd of rocks
the rocks were corpses
An active volcano
had erupted
to spread energy
to spew lava,
that died

Why at this time
is every shape a corpse of energy?
Why at this moment
is every color and rhythm a corpse of energy?
A bird,
a large eagle, for example,
watches, but does not judge
as he slowly circles above us
Why at this time
does he merely observe every shape of energy?
Why at this time
would he not try to judge
every color and rhythm?
Rocks are corpses
I drink milk and
gnaw away at bread like a grenadier


the morphology of extinct energy
white-hot flow that has denied itself fluidity
images of flames that have completely cooled
having not been formed by love and fear


A bird's eyes are evil itself
He watches, but does not judge
A bird's tongue is evil itself
He swallows, but does not judge


Look, the sharply cleft tongue of a mountain crow
Look, a great spotted woodpecker's tongue like a heathen god's spear
Look, a mountain snipe's tongue like an engraver's chisel
Look, a tiger thrush's tongue, a pliable deadly weapon

He watches, but does not judge
He swallows, but does not judge


I walk
down a path cold as Pluto
I go down the path 13 kilometers to a shack
along the lava flow
along the path of death and procreation
along the path of an ebb tide more gigantic than I have ever seen

I am a grenadier
I am a ship-wrecked sailor
I am a bird's eye
I am an owl's tongue


I watch with my blind eyes
I fall, with my blind eyes open
I hang out my tongue and destroy tree bark
I hang out my tongue, but not to caress love or justice
Thorns grow on my tongue like harpoons. They are not for easing fear and hunger


The way of death and procreation is
the way of small animals and insects
It is a way with no criticism or anti-criticism
with no meaning of meanings
with no criticism of criticisms
with no swarm of honey bees noisily buzzing away
with no needles, in thousands and tens of thousands, lying in ambush
It is a way with no vain constructions or petty hopes
It is a way where there's absolutely no use for metaphors, symbols, or imagination
What it has are destruction and procreation
What it has are re-creation and fragmentation
What it has are fragments and fragments inside fragments
What it has are broken pieces and broken pieces inside broken pieces
What it has is a gigantic pattern inside a pattern
It is the way of similes in cold June
Air sacs branch out of vermillion lungs
Allowing its air sacs as cold as ice to infuse air to the marrow of its bones
a bird flies
A bird flies inside a bird.


The bird's eyes are evil itself
The bird's tongue is evil itself
He destroys, but does not build
He re-creates, but does not create
He is a fragment, a fragment inside a fragment
He has an air sac, but he does not have a hollow heart
His eyes and his tongue are evil itself, but he is not evil
Burn, Bird
Burn, Bird, all Birds
Burn, Bird, small animals, every small animal
Burn, death and procreation
Burn, way of death and procreation


The June thoroughly chilled, like Pluto
The way as utterly cold as Pluto
I run down
the way of death and procreation
I am adrift
I fly

I am a grenadier
I am also a brave enemy
I am a shipwrecked sailor
But I am an ebbing tide
I am a bird
I am also a blind hunter
I am a hunter
I am an enemy
I am a brave enemy


I will get
to the shack by sundown
Short scrawny shrubs will turn into a huge forest
and the flowing lava, the sun and the ebbing tide
will be stopped by my tiny dream
I will drink a glass of bitter water
as if it were poison, I will drink it slowly
I will close my eyes, and open them again
I will cut whiskey with water


I will not go back to the shack
I could not cut words with meanings
as one cuts whiskey with water

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