Two Poems

Poetry Shuzo Takiguchi
Translated from the Japanese by Yuki Tanaka and Mary Jo Bang


1. Angel, on this shore a see-through devil embraces a rose. The rose color of the rose’s hair is the devil’s miracle. You stand, leaning against a coral generator, on a sandy beach. When God is hiding in a seashell, the devil’s red shadow is on a gable. It is noon.

2. A gentle bird collides with a window. This is a lover’s window. The darkness of a pearl oyster is a code of laws. The fallen bird returns to the lover’s hands. A virgin who has forgotten a snail dies, leaving behind a perfect sun. Dancing shoes circle like stars.


A dissected moon.
The light’s teeth
meet the light’s ribs.

Lovers of shadows live in the body.
Whispers are heard
on an infinite staircase within a large eye.
Beautiful words
transform into birds of light
inside a crystal eye.
A leopard made only of beautiful light does a handstand.
All the stars are inhabiting clothes.

The light’s nude body.
Blood could run
faintly through a statue.

Mary Jo Bang’s most recent books include the poetry collections The Last Two Seconds and Elegy, for which she received the 2007 National Book Critics Circle Award; and a translation of Dante’s Inferno, with illustrations by Henrik Drescher (all Graywolf).

Yuki Tanaka was born and raised in Yamaguchi, Japan. He is a PhD candidate at Washington University in St. Louis.

“Each new issue feels like a public report from many individual private spheres.” —Antoine Wilson

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Issue 24



Spring 2016


Shuzo Takiguchi (1903–1979) was a poet, painter, art critic, and one of the most prominent Surrealists in Japan. He spearheaded an interdisciplinary art group called Jikken Kobo (Experimental Workshop), which was active from 1951 to 1957. His first collectionof poems, The Poetic Experiments of Shuzo Takiguchi 1927–1937 (Shinchosha), was published in Japanese in 1967.


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