The Nacreous Oughts

07 October 2006


There sounds a shot of pistol
In the faraway sky; and then
A pistol-shot again,

Two pistol-shots; and my
Detective dressed in glass
Warps in from that clear sky,
Vitrescent but to find
Behind the window pane
He takes such pains to pass
The floorboards cut from crystal.
Between the fingers wind
Ribbons of blood more blue
Than words for blue contain.
And from the glazen dew
That glints like cellophane
On that sad woman's corpse
A chill, chill cricket chirps.

One morning of an early
November, dressed in glass,
The sad detective, surluy
rom sadnesses, came down

And, where the two roads cross
To quatrify the town,
Turned. At his point of turning
An autumn fountain waited.

Already isolated
In knowingness, he only
Can feel the real bereavement,
The long slow wrench concerning
Identity's decay.

Look, on the distant lonely
Acres of marble pavement
The villain, quick as silver,
Glides silverly away.'

--Hagiwara Sakutaro(tr. G Wilson)

"Nabokov somewhere asks us to choose which of three person is most likely to become a writer of significance:

one who has profoundly considered the great questions, who has taken pains to formulate complex and adequate answers to the pressing problems facing humanity;

one who is intensely sensitive to the world, the feelings evoked in the soul by time, nature, love, beauty, connections of every kind;

one who enjoys leafing through the dictionary

K. S.

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