Suminagashi and Text Collaboration


when you were a baby
a Ballanchine dancer
praised your sitting posture

now that you’re grown
I need to question you to understand—
a woman of another generation

I walk in the autumn softwood forest
with my cane—elegant fungus
grows along a tree trunk

palmate leaves
bigger than any gloves I’ve ever worn
turn green, yellow, brown, red

you say the paper sculpture
should be just about
as tall as you are

an enormous spider web
seems dropped into these woods
by Chiuhuly

you blow the line
of ink
across the standing water

if autumn were a woman
she’d be undressing now
for her date with solstice

the koan asks: for whom
do you adorn yourself
and make yourself beautiful?


14 Lines for the Wave

what floated on the surface and what sank—kelp or a princely galleon

what floated on the surface of a dream—detritus of the day, rogue maple leaves

dyslexia has its uses, turning in the right—the wrong—direction

the fan opened blank—that surprised me

what could be folded into an origami bird—a sense of loss, lost days of childhood

what could be hidden in a matchbox—an acorn cap, a secret, a half smoked roach

no matter what you did, some portion was white space

we played at mermaids, naked but for green tights

you can stitch paper, a wound, and air (if you’re a dragonfly)

I didn’t want to love a mermaid—I wanted to be one—

unable, even for a prince, to walk on land

tideline littered in plastic bottles, apocalypse washing up on the shoreline

slick black rocks covered in shells with tiny suction cups against the tide

what could be stored inside the self—an other self, ecstatic—sober as the devil and drunk as god

10 thoughts on “Suminagashi and Text Collaboration

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