[Kitasono Katue (1902-1978), whom Pound admired & renamed Kit Kat, was on his own grounds a major, truly experimental poet & artist. Beyond that, in the 1950s, he designed the first four covers of BlackMountainReview,&Robert Creeley’s Divers Press published a book of his poems in his own English translations & containing a few of his colored drawings (or”katto” [cuts] as they say in Japanese – or so John Solt informs me).
[What follows is a glimpse of Talamantez-Brolaski’s creation of an effusive new poetry that brings together voices & forms over a wide range of experimental & traditional poetries. It is at the same time a hardcore experiment in the laying down of a transgender poetics that puts a number of identities into question & brings still others into a new prominence. All of this is done with an extraordinary & strikingly precise sense of what both identity & expression have been in the past & what they may be in the present. If Wittgenstein correctly spoke of “philosophy, as we use the word, [as] a fight against the fascination which forms of expression exert on us,” the same, as I’ve often argued, might also & usefully be said of poetry. In what Talamantez-Brolaski has started to create & re-create (and in these poems we only touch the surface), I see a mind searching the limits of possibilities, both demotic & elite, current & markedly antiquated, free forms & sonnets, at the practitioner’s disposal. The discussion of “phonosemantics,” below, of which I’m only showing a portion, is a zukofskyan assemblage in itself of multiple & diverse parts & in that sense a true beginning. (J.R.)]
Fuck Me Harder
Fuck me harder, leave the haters behind As you know I am a slut for leisure Arrest me on the mountaintop’s incline, For I’ve klepted when I ought to please your Neglected epic skin, and pull your hair.
[On March 11, 2011, northeastern Japan suffered a massive earthquake that left nearly 16,000 people dead or missing and many others injured. Soon afterward, the editors of Gendaishitecho (Japan's foremost magazine of contemporary poetry) and the AsahiShinbun (one of Japan's largest newspapers) collaborated to commission and publish a series of works about the disaster, all written by Japan's foremost poets. The following poem was Hiromi Itō 's contribution to the project. This translation first appeared in PoetryKanto, vol. 28 (2012). (J.A.)]
A huge earthquake, a huge tsunami People die and just moments later There’s the nuclear meltdown Drawn-out fear assaults us Each time I go to Tokyo It is darker Hot and humid there It stings In Tokyo Everyone was afraid Everybody was angry
The sequence A-Z The alphabet in order The lock The book order B-Y The interim result C
A 1. A beautiful A as it once was is—like— an apple star in—Vien’na (AS N) 2. A beautiful film star is a prayer As gladly I’s once staged (in old time VIENNA) and as beautiful; as it once waS. 3. A A A winter that is there. Winter, summer, autumn and rain P l e a s e God—bounty me the apple gain. A A A spring that is THERE.
B B B B to separate does hurt. always tributary in the crossroads, the wood falls in whining odes, B B B to separate does hurt. B B B to separate does hurt. Wood disheartened in the holloway, the wood lies at the crossroads, B B B to separate does hurt.