japonisme: 7/11/10 - 7/18/10

15 July 2010


14 July 2010

when i fall in love

(to set the mood,
i must first ask you to
then close your eyes.)

why this, now? i finally found a friend,
from 40 years ago.


What have I to say to you
When we shall meet?
I lie here thinking of you.

The stain of love
Is upon the world.
Yellow, yellow, yellow,
It eats into the leaves,
Smears with saffron
The horned branches that lean
Against a smooth purple sky.

There is no light—
Only a honey-thick stain
That drips from leaf to leaf
And limb to limb
Spoiling the colours
Of the whole world.

I am alone.
The weight of love
Has buoyed me up
Till my head
Knocks against the sky.

See me!
My hair is dripping with nectar—
Starlings carry it
On their black wings.
See, at last
My arms and my hands
Are lying idle.

How can I tell
If I shall ever love you again
As I do now?

William Carlos Williams

first published in Poems 1916.

and all i can say is how little we've learned,and yet too much,


In this world
love has no color --
yet how deeply
my body
is stained by yours.

Izami Shikibu
tran. Jane Hirshfield


i can't remember ever --
well, not for a long time, anyway --
feeling this way:
being offered, now,
what i may have wanted then,
but recognizing how
it was never what i thought.

and it's painful very deeply inside.
that his life, i think,
has been destroyed
by his unavoidable

the pain comes, of course,
witnessing his pain,
and knowing by osmosis
it once was mine.

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