2 translations with audio & video
Semiotics ー Spring and Cobalt
Sledging signifying tip of a sign
that slides from a layer of chill to blaze
with the residual warmth of experience
that like the nostalgic gloss of a lilac-wet
aroma that's been moistened, shines
from a gaze to a reflective, reflexive gesture
(It’s raining. Under a cobalt colored weave
of cage rain burns, even when shining.
I am thirsty. Hungry. I am alive. In the rain.)
This argument thins at its shore, alternates
between equanimity and dispute.
We are its postulate, as circumstantial as Spica,
Virgo's burning blue ear of grain.
The distant lights fear the bear clear rhythm
of human speech, the appellations that reel
end over end over generations before slowing.
(It is raining. Lines burn cobalt blue in glittering layers,
glittering brightly in supernal fields of sound)
Speech should equate to behavior in the benign
formula that like algebraic geometry is pure
abstraction. It's difficult to know I exist now,
the cosmic tone no longer high spirited,
but caught again in lifecycle's monotony.
Every year, each spring, I will burn with rainfall.
Go past several beginnings, where you flow
back into yourself beyond langue and parole, line-
break and grammar, where nothing thins
into aphorism and where no one can watch
anything all the way to the end. Where halfway
to growing rich, we will all die. I know being
in existence teaches fading. I know the voice
that mutters "I don't need nobody else."
Even if we are together with someone.
Even if we are lonely in our aloneness.
Even sentiment. Even people.
It's all just information.
(The voices sing “I am alive. I am alive.”
The shining sounds of rain step on them)
ひかりつつ踏む 星のあまおと 》
Autumn Foliage Irony
Drizzling nickel-grey rain imitates our breath
knitted into the fabric of daily consciousness.
The green leaves up above veil thirst
in transparent water-soluble vacuolar pigments,
colored anthocyanin-reds and lipochrome-yellow.
The form is the name of its own hypothesis
of decay, an innate built in obsolescence.
Dreams crumble, veins thin, dark night
deposits cool autumnal air into the disappearing
signs of Euclidean calligraphy.
Then the drizzling rain stops.
Ethereal moonlight congeals, expands,
freezes into abstraction, a flush of memories
that dissolves into dim warmth.
A spiral collapse
flickers out over the patchy musical scales.
The volley of rubidium-bright red and strontium-
yellow leaves fall in an afterglow of sound and light
that emanate where the atlas ends,
where the nebula flashes with intense chromatic
tapering off flows that turn lambent waves
and radiant rays mineral-hard.
Nagae Yūki is a Tokyo-based poet. In 2012, she was awarded the Best Young Poet Award of the Poetry and Thought in Japan. Published two collections of poems, Absentee cities (2018) and √3 (2016). She has recently been invited to poetry festivals in Finland, Taiwan, Korea, Kosovo and Tunisia for multimedia poetry performances and installations, which frequently involve collaborations with natural elements such as water and technology such as original sounds and video art. She is developing this off-page poetic work around a concept she calls “Steric Poetry.” She also has been invited by Creative Writing Program of Iowa University (2018), and Institute for World Literature of Harvard University (Special Event at Tokyo University, 2018) for performances and workshops (video). In October 2018, she gave solo and collaborative Steric Poetry performances in France (video). In June 2019, produced multimedia/multilingual performance "Live Poesis"-retracing, rewriting and embodying a history of poetics from the dawn of primitive to the present and the future verbalization through the rise of literary criticism, with AR/Augmented Reality for people who are deaf in Tokyo (video).
Ravi Shankar has published or edited over a dozen books, including the Muse India award-winning Tamil translations of 9th century poet/saint, Andal, 'The Autobiography of a Goddess,' the 2011 National Poetry Review Prize winner, 'Deepening Groove' and the 2005 Finalist for the Connecticut Book Awards, 'Instrumentality.' Along with Tina Chang and Nathalie Handal, he edited W.W. Norton’s 'Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from Asia, the Middle East & Beyond,' called “a beautiful achievement for world literature” by Nobel Laureate Nadine Gordimer. He has won a Pushcart Prize and a Glenna Luschei Award from Prairie Schooner, been featured in such venues as The New York Times, The Paris Review and the Chronicle of Higher Education, appeared as a commentator on the BBC, the PBS Newshour and National Public Radio, received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and the Corporation of Yaddo, and has taught around the world, including at Columbia University, and City University of Hong Kong. Founding editor of Drunken Boat, one of the world's oldest online journals, he holds a research fellowship from the University of Sydney and his 'Many Uses of Mint: New and Selected Poems 1997-2017' was published by Recent Works Press in 2018 and his collaborative chapbook, 'A Field Guide to Souther China' written with T.S. Eliot Prize winner George Szirtes will be published in 2019 by Eyewear Publishing.