Skip to content

Yomota Inuhiko-III




For all their gloomy weight

my years have passed by too swiftly, the lead[1]

wooden box, sleeping car, Albert Ayler

what was it that commanded me to write


Chewed up by the teeth of gold-plated eternity

time blanketed by a lawn all green

the worn-out wooden fence has been taken down,

I was cut up, thrown out, and exiled


What’s left to me is just to incise letters on pillars

there are no more forests, beasts, female saints

no more drops of water of consolation lowered on my forehead


Once again I must go back with a weight of lead in hand

I will look for the water drowsing at the bottom of the sand, some day

to build a beautiful fountain with sculpted dolphins

[1] The reference is to Italy’s degli anni di piombo or “Years of Lead,” that is, from the late 1960s to the early 1980s when violent acts by both right-wing and left-wing paramilitary groups gripped the country. The title of Yomota’s memoirs of the 1970s, Saigetsu no namari (The Lead of Years), in 2009, alludes to it.




あまりに素早く過ぎ去った わが鉛の歳月


わたしに書くことを命じたのは 何だったのか





わたしは切断され 放擲され 追放された


わたしに残されたのは 柱に文字を刻みつけることだけ

もう森はない 野獣も 聖女も



もう一度 戻るのだ 鉛の分銅を手に

砂地の底に微睡(まどろみ)む水を求め いつか

海豚の彫刻のある 美しい噴上げを築くのだ