Inuo Taguchi: “Morning Discussion”



Inuo Taguchi




I had a strange dream.
An airplane –
it doesn’t fall straight down
but crashes horizontally.
“Don’t ask me how.
It happened in my dream.”

Now, in this ‘modern’ world
it’s common for vertical things to change into horizontal.
So it’s nothing to make a fuss about
that a plane should crash horizontally.
“Why are you making such a big deal out of it?
Nonsense is commonsense nowadays.”

Don’t worry. If you tip over you glass, wine will spill out.
If you let go of a knife, it’ll fall straight down.
Our world, as ever,
obeys divine providence.
What doesn’t obey it is your dream and –
“No, don’t turn on the television.
It’s never told us good stories. It never will.”

I am listening to the morning discussion half-heartedly,
for I only want to think about poetry.
But my thoughts suddenly turn to the grasslands of

There, too, are things that should be floating in air

floating in air?

There, too, is what should be falling falling?
Do things never crash horizontally?
Is what should be landing landing
and what should be ascending ascending?

Suddenly I feel like confirming it
and begin to be restless.
The soul begins slowly spiraling.
A kitchen kettle
begins honking like a horn.


from:  Hush-a-bye


Translation from Japanese:

William I. Elliott and Kazuo Kawamura

The original Japanese poem is featured below.







Inuo Taguchi was born in 1967 in Tokyo, Japan.  His pen-

name, Inuo, means Dog-Man.  He began to write poetry

in his early twenties and his first book came out in 1995.

He has been described as having a “self-less voice” as a poet,

meaning he is off to the side, even out of the “story”

– and often his poems are little stories.

At festivals he reads his poems aloud – usually barefoot.

His poems have been translated into Turkish – among a bunch

of languages.

He muses:  “I feel that poetry must strive to open giant

air holes in human consciousness.”