of the new

Ban’ya Natsuishi

/ Rhythm in the Vacuum (1986)

“[A]n example demonstrating how haiku bring the reader toward the phenomenology of the hard problem via adumbrations of the paradoxical and hypothetical can be found in this haiku by Natsuishi Ban’ya.

“Put a period” begins with what seems a trivial action: put a period somewhere. Usually we put them on paper; yet the second line represents a left turn with “into the desert,” reversing semantic expectation. Putting a period into the desert evokes a different line of image, action and form, from what might conceivably be done with a literal, textual period. And so, realism is subverted. The sense of paradox is heightened by the imperative grammatical tone. The poem is so short that while thinking this part out I’ve scanned the whole several times. Though having read this poem some years ago, I continue to formulate possible worlds: the aspect of explaining, in fact, the “explainer” of intellect rides behind the propulsive process of reading/misreading.

Some of my hypothetical speculations: the period implies “end of an era,” death, finality, a flag (of some sort); the desert is real and inhabits the new world, or a speculative new world; is an actual place (e.g. Death Valley, the high desert of Nasca); the haiku is political, “center of the desert” represents America’s current government and its war in Iraq; the period is a wounding; the haiku is historical, relating to Columbus’s “discovery” and eurocentrism; so, the haiku is revisionist and ironic, accessing “new world” in a post-colonial manner; the haiku landscape is that of another planet awaiting discovery; an alternative universe where putting a period exactly thus makes good sense; the haiku is a surreal remembrance, a novel myth. Alternativity spawns alternativities. The period is wherever my attention is.”

Richard Gilbert / “Plausible deniability: Nature as hypothesis in English‑language haiku” & in Poems of Consciousness: Contemporary Japanese and English-language Haiku in Cross-cultural Perspective (Red Moon Press, 2008)

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beyond

“If what can be entrusted in this short poetic form [i.e., haiku] were no more than the feelings of the seasons captured in a diary mode, that would be terrible. The sort of poem that can’t deal with matters that go far beyond the seasonal feelings—the world, the universe, and man—can go to hell. If the haiku is what in Japanese can express cosmology and humanity most acutely, we naturally need categorical standards that transcend season or non-season.”

— Ban’ya Natsuishi

from Gendai Haiku: Keyword Jiten (Modern Haiku: A Dictionary of Keywords, Tachikaze Shobō, 1990); translated by Hiroaki Sato in his speech, The Haiku Form Revisited, with a Thought on Alternatives for Kigo presented 16 June 1990 to the Haiku Society of America

2 new books by Jack Galmitz

Contributing editor of R’r, Jack Galmitz, has two new books out: Views (Cyberwit), and The Word ‘Dog’ Does Not Bark (Lulu Press).

Beth Vieira, a former professor at the University of California at Berkeley, wrote the introduction for Views. Here’s a small excerpt to give you an idea:

“[Jack Galmitz’s] Views (. . .) shows the power of allowing perspectival seeing, the layering of views, to accumulate on a topic that might be a bit like an elephant in miniature—contemporary haiku. Like the blind men in the [famous Buddhist] parable, people cling to their own views of haiku even though they have grasped just a part. Galmitz, in tandem with fourteen poets, follows Nietzsche’s lead to allow “more affects . . . more eyes” to the matter.

Through interviews, book reviews, and critical pieces, Galmitz covers the poetry and larger concerns of a broad range of writers: paul m., Peter Yovu, Chris Gordon, john martone, Ban’ya Natsuishi, Tateo Fukutomi, Tohta Kaneko, Robert Boldman, Marlene Mountain, Grant Hackett, Richard Gilbert, Dimitar Anakiev, Mark Truscott, and Fay Aoyagi. Each writer appears in exquisite specificity, as if Galmitz can disappear into each’s shadow and yet at the same time be so active that he pulls them into the spotlight to take a fine-tuned look at the work each does.”

The Word ‘Dog’ Does Not Bark is a new collection of recent work by Jack. The poems in the collection are each given a title. Here are two examples that appeared in slightly different forms in R’r 12.1:

Ancestry

Descendant

of a star

that coexisting

Ancestry II

Impose do not

on the blank space

that pinioned the burial

HOW DO YOU LIKE THEM APPLES?

Le fils de l’homme / The Son of Man by René Magritte (1964)

tr. by Burton Watson / From the Country of Eight Islands

tr. by Burton Watson / Masaoka Shiki: Selected Poems

1960 / Haiku: This Other World (#436)

September 21 1965   # e b ’ / The Collected Poems of Larry Eigner

Poems 1966-1967 [Pages, Random House, 1969]

/ A 2nd Flake (1974)

/ Modern Haiku 6.2 (1975)

Viral 7.2  by Chris Gordon

Gendai Haiku Kyokai Sakuhin-Shû (Modern Haiku Association Anthology), 1982              tr. by Fay Aoyagi

/ Opera in the Human Body (1990) [Turquoise Milk, Red Moon Press 2011]

/ Modern Haiku 35.1 (2004)

Haiku Shiki (Haiku Four Seasons), October 2008; created from a tr. by Fay Aoyagi

/ Ginyu 42 (2009)

MASKS ONE (2009)

 / R’r 9.1 (2009)

Chris Gordon :: Jack Dander

MASKS ONE (2009)

/ Ginyu 42 (2009)

:: Jack Dander / MASKS 2 (2009)

/ Ginyu 42 (2009)

/ R’r 9.2 (2009)

/ The Heron’s Nest 12.1 (2010)

/ R’r 10.1 (2010)

/ R’r 10.3 (2010)

/ Haidan (Haiku Stage), September 2011; new arrangement using a tr. by Fay Aoyagi

/ A Hundred Gourds 1.1 (2011)

BOOKS RECEIVED IN 2011

 

BOOKS RECEIVED IN 2011

Books (Poetry) 

Fay Aoyagi, Beyond the Reach of My Chopsticks: New and Selected Haiku, Blue Willow Press (2011), 930 Pine St., Suite 105, San Francisco, CA, 94108 (Attn: the author)

Robert Boldman, everything i touch, Red Moon Press, Winchester, VA, 2011

Jorge Carrera Andrade, Micrograms, translated by Alejandro de Acosta and Joshua Beckman, Wave Books, Seattle & New York, 2011

Gary Hotham, Nothing More Happens in the 20th Century, Pecan Grove Press, TX, 2011

paul m., few days north days few, Red Moon Press, Winchester, VA, 2011

john martone, handbook, (samuddo/ocean, 2011), 1031 10th St., Charelston, IL, 61920

john martone, mother tongue, (samuddo/ocean, 2011), 1031 10th St., Charelston, IL, 61920

Ban’ya Natsuishi, Turquoise Milk: Selected Haiku of Ban’ya Natsuishi, translated by Jim Kacian and Ban’ya Natsuishi, Red Moon Press, Winchester, VA, 2011

Books (Other)

Steven D. Carter (translator), Haiku Before Haiku: From the Renga Masters to Bashō, Columbia University Press, New York, 2011

Jeffrey Johnson, Haiku Poetics in Twentieth-Century Avant-Garde Poetry, Lexington Books, MD, 2011

Kaneko Tohta, The Future of Haiku: An Interview with Kaneko Tohta, translated by the Kon Nichi Translation Group (Richard Gilbert, Masahiro Hori, Itô Yûki, Koun Franz, David Ostman, Kanamitsu Takeyoshi), Red Moon Press, Winchester, VA, 2011

Kaneko Tohta, Ikimonofûei: Poetic Composition on Living Things, translated by the Kon Nichi Translation Group (Richard Gilbert, Masahiro Hori, Itô Yûki, Koun Franz, David Ostman, Kanamitsu Takeyoshi), Red Moon Press, Winchester, VA, 2011

Journals

ant ant ant ant ant 11 (spring 2011), Eugene, OR (edited by Chris Gordon). / SAY WHAT THE FENCE IS THE ANSWER by Jim Westenhaver.

ant ant ant ant ant 12 (autumn 2011), Eugene, OR (edited by Chris Gordon). / THE COINCIDENCE OF STARS by Jack Galmitz.

Books (Anthologies)

Lee Gurga and Scott Metz (editors), Haiku 21: an anthology of contemporary English-language haiku, Modern Haiku Press, Lincoln, IL, 2011