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Right hand raised, short breeches, wig, General Dupleix, fixed on his base, Between the Hotel d'Europe and the shipless sea. GEORGE MACBETH A DEPARTURE for Hideka Tojo, d.1948 I The seven melancholy Creaks of the hearse remind me Of the four last things. In my Lacquer bath, I lie trying To yield rhymes, like tapped rubber: Mint and fish, they say, make fine Bed-fellows. Remember: at Iwojima, the water Stank for days of greased helmets. II Dear America. As I Step out of clean porcelain, Steam rises. The sword would rust Here. Even a pocket shrine Flown from Idzu, might seem too Eccentric. I mark time. So The torture continues. And No-one, even our pickled Emperor, can survive us. 34 Ill Hiroshima. The children Stock-piling arithmetic Of where they were then. I read Stories of burning, of how One saw "balls of blue flame" in The sky. Meanwhile, the navy Man their torpedoes, aiming At sex for Hirohito. My bath soap is called kiku. IV Towelling dry, I invent Reasons. In a kimono Of grey cotton, sword slung at The waist, one assembles an Army of white spiders. Time To do it later, steel the Mind for one last attack. Or Accept a window onto Concrete. Choices glitter, melt. V In Awa, a residue Collects. The dragon winds round My sword-guard, disputing, they Say, a tama: spirit of The body, spirit of flame, I see its gold frayed, as by File pressure. The blade enters With a delicate movement, And a thin line of blood runs. 35 ...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2157-4189
Print ISSN
0026-5667
Pages
pp. 34-35
Launched on MUSE
2011-07-06
Open Access
No
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