Friday, March 05, 2010

Texture Notes - Sawako Nakayasu

Chris Martin, Glitter Painting (2007)

A nice list of books is coming out this spring. I doubt I’ll be able to keep up. But, I’ll do what I can.

First off, Texture Notes, by Sawako Nakayasu, just out from Letter Machine Editions.

It took me awhile to ease into it, or to figure out the relationship I was having with it, but once I did, somewhere about ten or so poems in, I was hooked.

Here are two pieces:


After stepping out of the room chock full of sneakers, and the need for fresh air.

Something compels us towards the room of eyeballs. It is either that time of year again, or somehow they have managed to become ‘all the rage,’ ‘the hottest thing,’ ‘cutting edge,’ ‘in.’

And in we are, a room, a wondrously giant room, filled to the rim with a lifetime supply of eyeballs, equally giant as befitting the room. ‘Eyeballs as big as your head,’ I’d heard mention of in a guidebook for some far away country. It made me feel like a hick for all those burritos ‘the size of my head’ I used to eat, back in San Diego.

Whose eyes? What kind? Tuna, we naturally decide, as we swim merrily along through the muddle of vision, every which way a stare, a gaze, no body part immune from regard, no part free from that external, organic, dead and steady pulse.


The pain of seeing something beautiful.

Is layered as such, the first layer of it being thick, of substance, I can’t say which sort, but of being matter and matterful, or rather, a person for whom I have spent a great deal of time and love, and this layer would be this very time and love, in whatever physical form it may take shape.

The there are many layers of something else, everything else, the world, for example, or more likely simply a space of time or geography or perhaps a curtain or a collared shirt or a person or several, various degrees of people and objects.

The last layer is the something beautiful, which lays itself down quietly on top of all these layers, none of which were waiting for this to happen, except that only by the happenstance of the arrival of this layer are the other layers actualized as such; a distance, a thickness, a slightly twitching texture is created between the first and last layers, a measurable distance that surfaces out of nowhere but an internal and external longing for a presence or good word.


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