from Japonisme

by Anne Gorrick

Pillow 17. Things that Arouse a Fond Memory of the Past










The dried hollyhock as calligraphy
To find a piece of deep colored material pressed by the rain
It is one day rainy, and one is reamed feeling
and then one finds the letters from a man used to love
To spend time, begin to observe paper

A hollyhock message
in a piece of deep violet
It is rainy and one is extended feeling
in order to spend time
and then one finds the character of a man
coincidentally a man one used to love

To find a deep viola has colored the materials
She used an arrow as a message
On a rainy day, there is extensive sensibility to spend time
sensitivity broadly an end
One begins to observe the papers in some old way
And then a man finds the coincidence of characters
finds that he is used for love

Wine of the dry Rhone—a message used for her sensibility
Arrow headstock—a part deep viola
positioning grapes in order to find color
One day rainy and a sensitivity wide open to spend time

to observe paper in some old trees
E then a man finds in coincidence the characters
the type of coincidence that is used as excuse for love

When night is held up by the pages of a book

Pillow 101. Squalid Things

        An evening gown with fur sticking out from the seams
        Darkness which does not give the impression of being clean
        She embroiders the inside of a cat’s ear
        This fur, that evening dress not sutured to borders
        This slight defect tumbles out:
        She is not especially devoted to him

This fur which impersonates the cloth of evening
On the other hand, charm
Most love appears on him
The fur always from the revolution of the nest
The cloth of nighttime, those unlined edges
On the other hand, charm is not in love with the child
Madame has the defect of falling

        Purity is performed quite and because
        The impression widely known as darkness
        becomes very clean
        Charm and its cultivation big inside her
        This fault, unwell, comes to tremble

Of this skin sewn as cloth or nighttime
This blackout known extensively as place
Through embroidery, an interior enchantment of the hand
Who is not interior to this and to love?
Imperfection trembles
He comes to shake the shutdowns
that the Madame has kept together
He is special
Under monopolizing he separates from her
because love is the greatest ignition of the internal song

        You go out of your way to embroider a cat’s ear
        The skin always a social stratum, the nighttime’s cotton inside skin
        Outside this enchantment of the hand
        A huge interior which loves
        He separates under the monopoly of her

She leaves manners embroidered into time
Time, the night inside this skin
Light passes the largely unknown darkness in him
The impression of place
The most enormous love burns, her ethanol squalid

        They leave stricken
        Skin as always, a social repossession
        The cotton material that forms time. The night uses it up
        Pure marks also completely, because this light exceeds
        which largely does not admit the density of the place
        He reads about the abolition of the work

Night uses up time within this skin
Light exceeds this incompleteness
which largely did not admit the density
The impression of a place lit up
Because the internal song is busy
their ethanol squalid

Pillow 161. On the Twenty-Fourth of the Twelfth Month

The Empress arranged that there should be a name
and for us a temple to aim for a secret tryst
I divided a carriage with some others
Snow descended as if it were days
The morning stopped and there was a strong wind
Black cotton soil where snow had puffed up
The rooftops were completely white
ignited by a pale moon
as though they were covered with money
The icicles seemed to be deliberately hung
like the various lengths of  nights
luminous and assembled

        Blind men outside the carriage, the moonlight well inside
        Eight layers of plum and clearly red
        A coat of sunk violet
        In the openings of his casings one could see
        pink and yellows scarlet within him
        He had demolished the white dazzlingly

He recited the words, “cold drilling, it drew aside as ice.”

The Empress ensured that the buddha should have a name
The snow part was air-pushed
The huts of the poor were roofed by slats of the moon

        His external the blind
        Covered in eight layers of magenta free red
        The material stood grape colored
        with a strongly described Design

Time became cold and perforated
resulting in snow

The Empress drew a salary
assessed the fact that buddha would need to name us
The snow descended, hours stopped
The black cotton soil
The poor besides were burned
The moon was sick as if covered with money
The icicles seemed to hang with incredibly good manners

          A sinkful of moonlight
          One could be Mrs. and A b simultaneous
          in eight layers of fuschia, red free and red plum
          Over this he transported a coat of viola sunk
          that he has polished with one luminous streak
          Legacies of the material: firm, grape, colorful
          One could see you indent it
          The scarlet dresses like evenings under yellow

The woman slid into the back of the car
in order to prevent the luminous moon

I divided the stars between the others
The moon on a stick burned
The Empress arranged that we nominate the buddhas
for a private game, a tryst
I shared a covered cart with falling snow
One could see a patch of black land
where the snow was casting absentee
The rooftops were completely white despite the poor
illuminated uniformly by the moon
thatched in silver
Icicles deliberate in different lengths

            She carried a coat of descended violet
            A luminous gloss
            A strongly described design
            In the openings of his residences
            one could see the notchings and the scarlet within him
            The evening gowns of magenta-ed lower parts

“The whole night likes to spend you.”

A divided carriage covered in delicious movement
Snow came to the bottom of our days
One could see a piece of the black cotton soil
where the snow had missed the frame
The pale moon wore a luminous uniform
moved across the sky like completion covered in money
Icicles hung in different duration as if they were days

            At the openings of his domiciles
            one could see notch and scarlet
            He stood in such a way, one of his legs inward

The cold in order to perforate the hours
The entire night to spend leisurely if there were similar ones
“We will suffer a surplus of destination soon.”

          The snow arrived instead of days
          Exquisite movement
          The hours gusting
          The roofs were completely white with women
          their icicles deliberate and hung

I could see one courtesan
covered in eight layers of magenta, red, plum
and other white dresses of the night
On this she laid a covering of violet descending
A luminous gloss
One could carve scarlet into domiciles
Dazzle the white demolished

In the end, we subvert moonlight
by sliding into the backseat of a car
On some occasions we recite the words
“the cold ends to perforate the hour”
An excess of destination soon

          A covering of coming down in viola
          The night’s dresses cut free
          The night ended in a familiar courtesan

Note:  Written at the end of the second millennium, these poems are a rethinking, a modernization of sections from The Pillow Book of Sei Shōnagon, which was written at the end of the first millennium by a courtesan during the Heian period in Japan.