Leaves of Nagasaki

You did interest us by referring to your Japanese correspondent,
	though I have never been to Nagasaki, or seen its leaves.
Tell me, have you heard anything from him since then? We’ve not
	Heard a peep out of you through the post & can’t help but
Wonder what might have gone wrong. Your interest in ‘Western’
	Orientals pleases us too, binds us closer to you – in an
Abstract way, of course – and gives us strength to go where e’er 
	You do. I refer, in passing, to more spiritual transports
Whose meaning remains deliberately obtuse. Tom Touchstone, 
	Who was there, met instead his nemesis, Kapital – not to
Mention ours! Six months he spent pitching his ‘lucky strikes’ 
	At the proles before Japanese anarchists blew his cover as 
A correspondent for a magazine devoted to the projectile arts.
	Walt, I have made friends with Chinese men. Your poems
Have truly inspired them as much as me. If it pleases you I’ll
	Send some translations your way, though of course I can’t
Read a word! We are planning a workers’ holiday, using only
	Public transportation to shuttle us to the sea. Somehow it
Loosens a coil of anger inside me, the years of living tension 
	A memory. Some kind of peace that Eva & I never knew. 
I know we’d light up the Nagasaki night together, Walt! May 
	We never need to go home again, never wake up. My head
This morning! Must’ve been the rice wine or the booze, the 
	Pilsener brew that someone snuck into the Athenaeum. 
Ah! Liquor! Love of the working man! In bars and laneways,
	Master, pink lanterns. We make merry with hostesses &
Spiral like leaves in a moving circle around the courtyard. 
	Tomorrow I will write poems in your soft grass style.

Post a comment