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Friday, December 30, 2005


My mind reeled with excitement and imagination when I passed local poet Tachibana Yasuzumi's improvised house on the bridge spanning over the Tennoji Zoo. Poems, polemics, free jazz schedules, event bulletins were posted on the outside of his house, a soul map of the city for all to consult. I knew that day the city alive with a bright fire.

Tachibana-san was beaten about a week and a half ago by a gang of twenty high school kids out looking for a 'bum' to punish. He fought his attackers and thankfully survived the confrontation. It is with fury and respect that I bring these poems to the world. Thanks are due to Emily for translating the second two poems.

Living outside: Summer

My bicycle cart listens to the rain sounds
Some muddled cardboard, a shut futon, blue rain
Has the passing shower become stronger? Raindrops on my face
The rain falls, my cardboard house melts
Sleeping on the earth, the rain falls, like a river
I've caught a cold, perhaps I'll just let myself die in this rain

Sleeping on the roadside, one by one my embarassments extinguish
Blessed, I no longer hold back
Hungry stomach, dazzling sun I guzzle down water
The long line for lunch In the blazing sun no one speaks
Lumps of lunch work down my stomach, I've eaten too much

Faces of those I know, gradually burnt in the sun
Faces of those I know gradually tired
Faces of those I know, gradually wrinkle deeper
Faces of those I know; the life thins out of them

Trash pride sweat piss the smell of human beings
In the midnight park we bath in the sunken, shooting water

Living outside under one starred sky
Living outside under one starred sky

(an excerpt from 'Living outside, Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter')


I often do not go to work
I just gave that shit up
Yes, I'm living outside, so what?
This is me, alive!

Rummaging through the garbage, lining up for lunch
My stomach empty, always, anytime
Living outside, what of it
This is me, alive!

Anywhere is fine, a place to sleep
Find some cardboard, this is 'my dream house'
Living outside, so what!
This is me, alive!

Not a thought to my appearance
Being alive, that's the pay-off
Living outside, what of it
This is me, alive!

Lazy fuck

A lazy fuck is a lazy fuck.
He doesn't work and he's got no savings or anything,
So he doesn't go out and he can't treat himself.
He's got no family and lives alone;
City hall doesn't look after him and he lives in poverty.

A lazy fuck is a lazy fuck.
He's not like an ant, but he's certainly not like a
He doesn't work on behalf of a queen
Or fight any wars for the sake of 'defending society'.
In summer the lazy bastard doesn't dance around playing music
He seeks no help from others just because the 'winter has come'.

A lazy fuck is a lazy fuck.
He lives in places that other people hate
He eats the food that other people won't eat.
The rest of the time he just sits it out
He can't even flex his wasted muscles,
When an enemy approaches, he lies stock still and plays dead.

A lazy fuck is a lazy fuck.
He'll be a lazy fuck for ever.
He lives in places where nobody lives, under the pouring rain.
Steadfastly munching on leaves -
A lazy fuck is a lazy fuck
He'll never be anybody's cherished koala.


The idler
is always an idling idler.
The idler idles and so he is idle,
I guess there have been times when he wasn't idling
But that might be hard to believe.

He is told 'Waste not!,
but of course he wastes himself, idling.
I suppose the idler becomes idle while idling,
Once an idler, he idles.
A softly sleeping idler.

(Tachibana-san riding the wataribune river-crossing boats on the Ajigawa river)

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