The weather began to turn around the beginning of November. I dreamed
of fire, sparks flying in the night across the wooden houses. We were
jammed against the cemetery, bad luck in any season; Hokusai's ghosts
spoke across hideous red lanterns, their teeth waiting for the skin to
fall. Fukuoka was ruptured by uneasy presences; the foreign community
talked and talked, waiting for something to happen. Rumblings from 
Eastern City penetrated Nine-States Island. These were the States at
that juncture:


Eastern City was in State-of-This-Main-Origin-of-Book, still spring, I
would say still April, the murmur of brook-larks heard high in Shinto
trees. For truth, I did not recognize talons where hands were joined,
words wired to electrical wonders not yet evidenced on the way from 
Kyoto to Fuji, by way of Wheat-Rice-Island. Thinking of wings, I flew,
these were my thoughts:

Winged Thoughts, Iron Thoughts, Fire Thoughts, Singed Thoughts, River-
Water Thoughts, Electric-Coming-Wonder-Thoughts.

There were seven flowers, six elements, perfect nights. In Northern-
Nine-State-City, it was autumn, late-blooming chrysanthemum engraved
on lacquer-bone poet-box, crane-flight, swimming-turtle careful gold
design. I would write wonder-haiku,

one two sorrow five
six mountain eight pine ten e-   x
leven twelve autumn four-      x
                             ox oo
and win honor at go-moku, xxxxx o  in summer-Kurume, waiting near Wide
Island, very many tower down to Nagasaki. For to be sure, I was fast
disappearing. I dreamed of fire, sparks flying in the night. I dreamed
of wooden houses. I dreamed of shogi sets, the sound of game pieces
scraped across the wooden boards.

I dreamed of the fluttering of go boards, the sound of stone-and-shell
game pieces scraped across the hollow tables. I dreamed of mother-of-
pearl orderings from Eastern City, dreamed of the Origin of All Things,
dreamed of State-of-Siege.

The East Village Poetry Web
Alan Myouka Sondheim