• Stone Bridge Press

Excerpt Wednesday - "Other Side River: Free Verse"


In honor of National Poetry Month, we’ve pulled this week’s excerpt from one of our poetry collections, Other Side River, a collection of Japanese poems featuring the work of 36 modern Japanese women poets, all of whom write in an "imported" Western verse form and astonishes us with their diverse viewpoints, rhythms, themes, and insights.

Throughout April we’ve only been able to share shorter poems, so we thought it would be a nice change to throw in some longer free verse poetry. These three poems were written by Miyuki Aoyama, one of the many talented writers in the collection. Enjoy!


SPRING

under the cherry blossoms, warmed by the earth's smell

a man is hanging from a rope

his eyelids convulse

the man drifts in and out of his dreams

a girl’s taut breasts softly grow rounder

the snake he saw yesterday returns

and eases up the trunk of the tree

the man’s grip releases

many things have been thrown at his feet

on the tip of his swaying fingers

one transparent petal remains


FEBRUARY

the field of wheat is drying out

the field mouse has shrived up

i see teeth in its half-opened mouth

in the dead of the night

a cat with a distorted body leaps and leaps

the cat moans in a baby’s voice

a woman with a low temperature slowly strolls the field

hearing the woman’s footsteps

the flesh underfoot grows sullen


PEACH

a ripe peach falls

the peach sinks in the heavy summer air

a stifling hot wind pushes it up from under

a woman in her ninth month digs a hole

i put a slippery thing in my mouth

and feel a sudden nausea

a woman gives out a scream behind the dark shoji

all at once, the children become sleepy

the blackened peach in the air

the dog with a black penis slowly goes crazy


For more info about Other Side River or to order a copy, click here.

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