3 years ago

Writers & Lovers Cafe: Spring 2014


WRITERS & LOVERS CAFE: Spring 2014 50 bear his child. Her desire to be the mother is everywhere. So eventually, she conjures up herself as a fetus: i want to sleep in the field of wild poppies let their red flesh envelop me & my broken heart So ultimately a realization strikes that the Solitary Woman is not solitary. She has been committed – engaged, betrothed, faithful – to the Tanka Lover ... It also gets clear that Pamela A. Babusci gave birth to the most beautiful child she could have ever conceived -- herself. her porcelain skin newly washed like a fresh water pearl she awaits her lover's footprints across the dewy path *** Paper Plane, by Ikumi Yoshimura. (Rainbow Press, Gifu, Japan 2012). 86 unnumbered pages, 4” X 8”, Japanese stringbound. ISBN 978-4-947716-03-7. $10/1000 Yen from: Rainbow Press, Oonawaba 4-13, Gifu 500-8889, Japan or < > Reviewed by Tad Wojnicki There is something in Paper Plane by Ikumi Yoshimura that makes it pretty intimate. The haiku chapbook is almost as intimate as a shy high-schooler's diary. The speaker's voice is modest, focused on small things, almost dainty: eating an apple like a girl – the day moon pick wild strawberries wondering about some excuses

WRITERS & LOVERS CAFE: Spring 2014 51 The book is printed on a rich stock in an unusual backpack- and coffeehousefriendly format, and its pages bear no numbers, giving off the feel that you are holding a stack of poetry-slam handouts. Also, the text is printed vertically, not horizontally, You get the impression it is a very artsy neighborhood. At times it feels like Greenwich Village: actor drops in secondhand book store night of summer solstice like a fairy tale I ask my husband to pick some medicinal herbs But even if the neighborhood is quickly recognizable as Greenwich Village, the flavors are all Asian. The sounds, artifacts, and concerns are exotic. The events, upheavals, and terrors of the daily life are dainty, minuscule, or else over-exaggerated. a scream of young wife a roach's gone Professor Ikumi Yoshimura has taught at Gifu University, Dept. of Comparative Literature, for 30 years. She sings of her neighborhood in haiku saturated with sensual data very reminiscent of Basho's perspective: setting sun brightens a smoke of grilled shells – autumn shore early morning wind a gull is skimming the boatman's face Perhaps the greatest gift of Yoshimura's book I had never expected. Haiku is one's oooh's and aha!'s over daily, ordinary things served straight, she shows. Objects like “paper planes” or “paper lanterns” are really straight talk: spring festival – my wish on the paper lantern swaying

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