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ニッケイを見いだす:詩のコラム

Specks and Shadows

Portland-based writer and musician Kou Sugita gives us several pieces in this month's column that nudge us into a quiet space of listening—to past echoes that still reverberate; to colors that heed our remembrance; to “the shadow of a shadow of a sound.” Kou’s pieces here are shown with a light of subtle beauty and a depth of exploration that beg for more than one reading.  Enjoy...

—traci kato-kiriyama

* * * * *

Kou Sugita was born in Japan and relocated to Oregon as a baby. He currently lives in Portland with his partner and two cats. His poetry has appeared in The Volta, Oversound, TYPO, and elsewhere. These poems were previously published by Oversound. A semi-retired poet, his outlet is music and selling vintage clothing these days. 

 

From Transfer


How does the electricity lick
Off the ends of our circular arms

Slowly and lapping our heels
Lilac wise
Or hackles of rage

Language  /  never
Precisely

Into its cadaverous memory

What was sensual only
In the light  /  inching closer
Between my synapses

 


Out of echoes—
                    Want to say oh

Look my family mirrored
In the commercial blimp passing overhead

A speck in a speck in the speck 
                                     / And yes                   

Hear the loneliness
In their will / collective / collected / after imaged / webbed /

            / Eyes then hand then sun
Same green silhouette / same red vein
(Realize a suspicion in that line)
Out on a valley fluff grass / free to think anything
Only a fumbled focus to knowing / All my friends and I
Will labor no way around / decompose while after making
Circle towards dying

 


No holidays / except in friends
So how to believe in a
Most prodigious night
Of all nights on earth?

There are ghosts in me
Who can still bruise
Some already in
Passing / Pushing through

A silver arch
Of waves
Like a knife’s flathead pressed
Against a thought

Don’t slip / be ready to be
Ignited / On how many nights
Is there celebration of their breath

Okay shed

The translucent
Cicada wing
Batting the dead off
The shadow of a shadow of a sound

I’m trying a look / over the tranquil hills 
(Have more than a gaze overseas)

 


It’s yellow rotating as spotlight against an ocean
Yellow the color of nostalgia / It seems
I can only remember one funeral   (or memorial / ?)
In Japan / men and women silent / children

On the ground like purple balloons
(Assume the gesture of holding in all liquid thought) / I let mine drag on
Sun bleached concrete / sputter up into the smoke rising
From the altar’s shiny black stone

Clean into the sky I become part of the forgetting
A younger self somewhere in Oregon
Learned the first words    (can)     become secondary
From when / Learned by meeting / Stem(ing)
From the exports grandparents packaged  

Then dang in unison / with all my friends / Learned new
This time in an age of progressions / Progressions of place
Sitting around the oh yeahs / my head
Reeling the realness / It’s like someone else’s fist

Clenching a red sheened balloon
Becomes / as if an ours / on a Pacific shore
Its firey dawn / I stick out my tongue to the source
Fireworks /  And settlers provoking some seals 

*These poems were originally published in Oversound, Issue 6 (2020).

 

© 2020 Kou Sugita

Kou Sugita poetry

このシリーズについて

「ニッケイを見いだす:詩のコラム」は、文化や歴史、個人的な体験をめぐるストーリーを、多様な文章表現を通して共有するニッケイ・コミュニティのためのスペースです。過去から今に至る歴史、儀式・祭事・伝統としての食、伝統の儀礼と前提、土地・場所・コミュニティ、愛など、歴史やルーツ、アイデンティティに関わるさまざまなテーマによる幅広い形式の詩をご紹介します。

この月刊コラムの編集者として、作家、パフォーマー、詩人のトレイシー・カトウ=キリヤマさんをお招きしました。毎月第三木曜日には、詩作を始めたばかりのシニアや若者から、出版歴を持つ全米各地の詩人まで、1~2名の作品を発表します。無数の相違や共通の経験の間で織りなされる、人々の声の交差が見いだされることを願っています。