Poetry at Sangam



from PINK: “Paris Trilogy” Part II by Yuko Otomo

boulevard so & so #2

Imagine & Improvisez. A synonym in different languages. Improvisez votre mode. Improvise your mood. An association between to Imagine & to Improvise & their connection to the act of creation. A white mid-summer heat on the boulevard instantaneously evaporates our breaths. In addition, blueness of the sky makes our senses unstable. Swallowed by a wave of people, we walk. The white shell city abruptly casts its costume of Beauty away.

In the landscape of a new reality, only shadows under the bridge girder & rippling patterns of the river water give me some comfort. In heat, everything, even the shape of History aloofly dries up & I fall into a melancholy. Being healthier than ever before, I, no matter what, reject getting intoxicated in a spleen. Instead, I sink further into the deep silence. In such a silence, I keep walking, erect.


père la chaise

The land of the dead sinks deeply into the stillness of a summer afternoon. A green thickened hill guards the evidence of Life, Death. It accepts every Convexity & Concavity of the season in the same manner it accepts the solidity of bone structures of the remains buried there.

We spread a map of our search/stroll on top of a stone. Two ants crawl on the back of my palm, moving from one point to another. Mating, chasing, talking, arguing. The world of ants & the world of humans. The living & the dead converse as our voices wrap around the summer hill. Live flowers; artificial flowers. Flowers that know Life & Death. Flowers that will never know Life or Death. Here everything is dedicated to the dead. The living send their thoughts to the dead & the dead answer them with an eternal silence & indifference. The living wring their hearts over the eternal one-sided denial, & they tremble.

Le(s) Peintre(s) Maudit(s); Le(s) Poète(s) Maudit(s). One blessed with good luck; One cursed with no luck. The rich & the poor. Light & Shadow of being born into a human. Light & Shadow of being born into an ant. Light & Shadow of being born as trees & weeds. How natural to agonize over self-identity amongst this crisscrossing of Light & Shadow! An unavoidable agony brings life an endless Caress.

Necrophilia; prostitution; black masses. Up side down & right side left. Achille Zavatta sleeps here as a clown. Abc-xyz. Ici repose so & so… Ravens await our exit… and a whistle… too…

Ici repose so & so. Here so & so lives. A tower of Babel, again. How right it is to be silent! Boredom. Exit. Annulment of the self. Entrance to the self. Life (& Death) as a poem. Life (& Death) as a song. Ah… A thundershower rips through the land of the dead. I imagine the landscape after the rain at dusk. Ce la vie! I let a new old cliché slip out of my mouth.


changes of weather

If a splash of time, an instance, draws its own map on a flat surface, there must be clear signs & patterns of every change of weather marked on it. Efforts to write sentences without intending to have an association of meanings. Efforts to leave your personal self outside the window. Brightness & darkness brighten the same roof. Efforts to know four seasons in a breath of one moment. To see morning & night together. To swallow a fair day & a rainy one in one shot. Opening a map, I listen to the change of weather inside me, quietly.



It’s not about glass. It’s about blood, Flesh, heart & Soul. We rob Space from animals & birds: creatures who are born to be in limitless Space. We give them back unmoving limited Space to keep them trapped within its Space-less-ness. Plundering the world they reflect, we give them the warped mirror of Human images in return.

E, N & T in Torment & Absent. To find E, N & T exist scattered in Eternity! A privilege to become a self-imposed stranger. A Torment to become a forced stranger. (Eat/Shit/Die). One poet overlaps his own ecstatic pain with that of an ostrich. Another poet overlays her ecstasy onto a jaguar. Inhabitants of Menagerie. Subject/material for poems that know nothing of poets or of the word Poetry.

Phenomena of Life/Death. (Eat/Shit/Die). Elements shared by Agony & Torment. & their common denominator called Pain. You live to learn to get used to Pain in the Space of Eternal Non-Freedom. You reach another Void when you swallow the forced Non-Freedom. You pass through the revolting process of Death/Life reversed. Things shared by Space & Void. Things that can’t be shared by either of them. Voided Souls; a blanked agony. How merciless it is to be forced to resign yourself to a life without dignity in the riverside public garden in the city of Light! Young human children & their tired parents. Young puma cubs & their tired parents. Dried (up) Garden of Eden under the afternoon sun. (Sacred) worn out Noah’s ark.

Expelled from the garden, we stand on the boulevard. We open a map & look up to the sky. Becoming aware of Hunger within us, we leave the caged creatures behind in our consciousness. We become wild in order to fill our own Hunger & Void.

In the night menagerie, in the dark space where sounds of human footsteps die down, in the sweet fragrance of summer night air floating from Jardin des Plantes next door, owls, vultures & reptiles who have slept their day away, forcefully destined to be strangers to their own reality, regain their sense of self. They give themselves to the call of an echoing spirit: a spirit that lives & flows deep within their blood. Flesh, heart & Soul: a spirit that knows the true meaning of Freedom. The cloudy river flowing in the white shell city dissolves itself into the darkness of the night. Counting numbers of letters shared by Ménage (Housekeeping), Menagère (Housewife) & Menagerie (Zoo), I fall asleep beneath the sky.

We eat, shit & die. All is well; all is well. Repose yourself. It’s written up yonder.
Is it (really)? Fragility commonly shared by Glass & Soul. To be easily broken. Radiance of Fragment(al)s & its shadow.


le(s) poète(s) maudit(s)

Coincidences Fatales. The Fate of Coincidence. The Coincidence of Fate. Something that surpasses us called Fate. A point of departure. A point of termination. Time & Space in between 2 points that we call Life. Le Poète Maudit quality of being born as a Human. In an intensifying non-stopping rain, sparrows take shelters. Through the window, I send my thoughts to the birds. (How tiny they are!) No one can see what’s happening in my heart/mind except the one who resides inside me as the other. Poetry as music. Music as poetry. The faint sound of the rain resembles the sound of my pen moving.

A poet given Fate of Life (Time/Space) with little mercy. A cursed poet. A cursed painter. Someone who carries the privilege of being favored by the darkness of Life in a world where general moral values favor the brightness. Someone who is forsaken by “G-d”. Someone who is favored by “G-d”. Cain & Abel. Humans as descendants of Cain. Lost Soul(s). Stranger(s).

(S)he is used to the smell of darkness. So used to it, (s)he does not tremble any more observing dark clouds running above. (S)he even feels comfortable being with anything dark & low. (S)he is well aware of Fate’s direction. (S)he does not fight against it. (S)he accepts Unhappiness. (S)he feels quite ordinary sleeping wrapped in a blanket called Sadness. (S)he shares thoughts with shadows of the ordinary. (S)he thirsts for love. (S)he yearns for a remote world. (S)he knows the end of the story well in advance. (S)he knows how to keep secrets all alone. (How agonizing to do so!) Analogy & discrepancy shared with Love & Sex. & to know them with Soul. (S)he has fallen to earth & keeps falling further to the edge of the earth. (S)he entrusts h(er)is being to the speed of the fall. (S)he dreams & cherishes the darkness of the dream. (S)he bites on Sadness & bleeds from h(er)is heart. Seawater poured into an empty bottle. Skin exposed to saltiness of the sea. A voice of agony murdered. (S)he spends nights looking at fruit getting rotten. Homology & discrepancy shared by Man & Woman. To know them with Flesh. Falling to the end of the earth, (S)he praises the beauty of the sky. (S)he knows how to sigh “Ahhh!”. (S)he knows the pains of the other(s). As well the joy. (S)he knows how to place Time/Space upon the sound of falling rain. (S)he knows Silence. (S)he knows how to be Silence. (S)he throws Words away.

To give thought to wet feet in shoes in the rain. To give thought to the human irony of wearing shoes. To praise the beauty of bare feet. To hold their brilliant nakedness in hands. Then to turn eyes downward in quietude. To let shoulders unburden. To stand erect. To breathe afresh as a Human. To be a mirror.


la butte aux cailles

Genuine testimonies of History almost always suffer the misery of being buried. Twisted & winding signposts & the stubborn hardness of cobblestones breathe quietly in the afternoon air. Here, they’ve listened to the ordinary voices of ordinary people for centuries.

To be Pure & to have an accurate-as-possible understanding of what it means to be Powerful & Beautiful. To be beaten to tremble in the darkness in order to get closer to “G-d”. To keep secrets. To help others. A(n) (un)cross-able gap between being Grand & being Petty. A woman’s body on a cross. Blood. Screams. Pleasure. Elements shared by ecstasy & Pain. A definite analogy clearly shared by Love, Sex, Life, Death & Poetry.

When the darkness of Life/Death was much darker, a man & a woman knew how to entangle their bodies with the darkness within them. The weight of their shadows corresponded clearly to the weight of the darkness they shared. How strange to hear a friend explaining that there is a certain poetic connection between the name of a caged animal & the origin of the name of this city as we pass the almost forgotten church! Throughout History, we keep wearing our never-ending costumes called Words. How powerful, beautiful & helpless they are! How often we shamelessly misinterpret their meanings to keep our pavements clean!


*translated from the original written in Japanese by the author*