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Tanikawa Shuntaro / 谷川俊太郎 – Ⅱ

Pluto Barking at Poetry



The fax machine is hung over and is endlessly vomiting poetry.

Pluto barks at it, “Woof-Woof!”

Printed words, the man thinks, are sometimes noisier than voices.

Maybe because born out of the darkness of voices, those words crave for light.


At evening when a person with ordinary nerves might get a bit depressed

the man is shaped like half-melted Haägen-Dazs.

He has forgotten the beginning of the universe and the end of his life

both of which he had pushed into a corner of his brain,

while the days keep on oozing like a cow’s saliva.


Presently the words rise from the paper, blending into evening darkness,

and are sucked into Pluto’s mouth.

Longing for an isosceles triangle,

the man regresses into a coelenterate animal and lies down idly.

At that point a sleep-like awakening begins.

The man on the other side of the fax machine is of course the man himself.