The Reprisals after the Great Earthquake of Tokyo
1 February 2013
The reprisals come as intent to smother the volunteer
communitarians and orators in the interim, when all smoulders and aches and begins
to regenerate. Effigies of dogs around necks, unsigned summons sported at the hip
a heraldry of pamphlets. In flak and light shoes
they bust the paper doors of old Asakusa and its secret slots
the self-governed Fuchū
the small-time smugglers of Azabu
suspend the summoned by the ankles, poison and drown them in the wells
from which they’re purported to have come, until hair stops.
Crimes in the interim between presentations, between the film about the Bibliotheque
Nationale and the film about the lynched union official drawn out of the factory
and into the field. The claypits had him
like a club
to the head.
Summoned by hand in lieu of affidavit,
frontispiece of the library hoists the child
to the front balustrade of the rostrum and harries
till the mouth clams shut, meaning closes
into absence ipso facto.
The smugglers of Ikebukuro drowned in shreds of cycle race bets,
foil to the smartly dressed bookshelves of the modern history of village Hokkaido.
Once again, until hair smells of nothing, hangs like a willow
in the dead of night. Tossed from the factory
into the field.
In the interim they swan through the cracks and sluices and quiet places of the noisome
town, friends fettered to their throats,
friends at hips and friends at knees, encircled by hordes of man’s
best friend in attack formation – no place to them without stink –
formed until all progeny of the well are thrown out by hand and shibboleth
along with their languages and periodicals,
tossed back to the field
and the claypits, no word of the purge there
but a gargle
of the autolytic slough.
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