Monday, November 24, 2008

Jeffrey Harpeng: SAD TOYS

after Takuboku Ishikawa

in the weeping willows
of Takuboku's tanka
kanji leaves hang . . .
hear the soughing
of Takuboku's words

Setting the doll I bought for my child
By her bed where she naps,
I enjoy myself alone.

—Takuboku Ishikawa
In the biographical introduction to Sad Toys I read that Takuboku, his mother and wife all died of tuberculosis within thirteen months.

And the daughter not yet seven years old, nothing more is said of her.

only one or two
house lights this smoggy night
walking the streets
lighting one cigarette
from the glow of another

by Jeffrey Harpeng
Macgregor, Qld., Australia

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