Yūki NAGAE is a Tokyo-based poet. In 2012, she was awarded the Poetry and Thought New Writer Award. Her most recent collection, √3 (Shichōsha, 2016), employs images from geology, chemistry, and machinery through the full range of Japanese script—hiragana, katakana, and kanji structured in her unique system based on trigonometry. She has recently been invited to Finland,Taiwan, and the US for readings and poetry installations, which frequently involve collaborations with nature and technology. She is developing this off-page poetic work around a concept she calls “Steric Poetry.”
Pale blue tinted
Time goes fracturing on
(Every last flower, every form, gone extinct.
Pure nostalgia reigns, saturated fragrance
Drifting through the water surface.)
Morae melt into syllables
Touched off by fragmented recollections
The gist of reddened bygone days plunged down into extremity
Waning toward silence
Born entangled in collapse, one-hundred billion molecules grow warm, glow,
Gather the waves in their methylene blue
(Phosphorescent cerulean glimmerings.
That would be a dream.
Unseen by anyone, conserved in a lonely purity,
never drifting away,
flickering on at the ocean floor)
Eons ago, there was
A glorious prosperity that often lay down
All of this now below sea level
The circling recurrence
The demolishing persistence
Prepared for the day of its repetition
And the methylene’s blue glare. Rolling waves.
Now only the shadows
Running the water surface
(Between the waves, images wavering
Mexico,city….…To, ky o …..
Wrong. That would be a dream.
Unseen by anyone, so modest.
Cities and flowers too, innumerable abundance,
Will have gone extinct)
Mortar Stratum of Memories
Collapsed ambiguity heaped year by year and age by age, this mortar stratum’s upper layer with sounds of a drizzle on mineral mud mingled exhalations thoroughly spit away patrolling the circumference of lingering love it’s spring it’s autumn, we say in vindication, sludge years slush into hot colloidal gel layer on layer, that red ash surface, time and again sobering into frozen hard foot soles, embedded all the more in this mortar layer hot, wet mud colloid, tread the mud begrudgingly trudging away can’t go on, thus carp about it, but while looking back on it the gel of annual mud assimilated into the mortar stratum mineral mud lingering love recklessly piled layered finally into ambiguity this surface of mortar stratum
Collected in “√3”[2016,Shicho-sha]
Misty Spring Dawn
People and things too, drunken, dreams as one, doze off in the dawn,
Howling wind quieted, faint warm weak
Odor of fermenting mash breaking down
Peeling off one layer of dead night at a time, in the smoldering omen
Dreams, shallowing out,
Trailing constricted shadow puppets,
Spill to the outside and stride off.
Roadside. In the thinning dark of predawn,
Steel blue timber trees stand in unison line up,
In the entangled branch tips of their mutual differences
Bundles of pale flowers sag heavily shine
Fireglow. Smoking flowerglow softly emits peeled away scents
Traced in vaguely wandering warmth, steadily buried.
Dulled petals fray, brushing branches as they detach,
Choking on the flowerglow.
Dimming out buried in gloom, spun from the brief intervals,
Were these blue quaking objects. Leaving them quietly behind,
A dream with fluffy gait glitters through gloom treading the spring haze pale slumber bubbling over sleep with slight hand movements
It pushes right through.
With lips faintly parted imbibe vestiges of dreamlight
Deep in the chest alleviation ripples. Lights splash disperse
Awakening loosening. Collected in “√3”[2016,Shicho-sha]