After a painting
There cannot be such a scene situating itself somewhere
in perceivable reality.
On this paper,
before your eyes,
two screen doors allow a square sight into your vision.
Therefore, a body before the spreading scenery is left behind
When seeing is distancing.
The thatched houses crouch under the space purposely left blank as the sky,
the tile-topped sinuate walls open windows to borrow views,
and the mist-veiled hibiscus are veiled with a mist of spring.
They all appear within your arm’s reach
beyond the river.
But there is no water, for there are no ripples or waves,
and the covered boats seem to float
in a kind of otherworldly blankness of the upper sky,
while willows in the foreground hold crooked postures,
apparently with knurls, but their drooping twigs are fluttering innocently,
like dresses with loosened waistbands
in the spring breezes
where every man can be easily intoxicated without poetry and a poet needs no words.
The fact is
there is not a single passer-by along the riverside walk,
and there are no magpies, doves or crows on the ridges,
no swallows gliding in the middle ground.
This plane is segmented by spontaneous composition
but two sliding doors have cut out a sight
and placed it outside
while there is a landscape of meandering snowy landscape separated on the doors
the left one with the eastbound Yangtze, the right one with thousand-year-old snowcaps.
Distances are arranged vertically into the painting, not perspectively,
but still a pair of eyes must have been configured inside the doors.
The eyes are set on the eaves of the forehead,
then layer by layer down comes the neck, shoulders, chest, trunk
and the lotus-seated bottoms.
In front of them is a teapot on the ground
emitting puffs of steam
waiting for cups
the way a Buddha or a temple sits at a geomantic spot
It is self-focused more than any of us, forgetting
the scenery outside and the broken landscape on the doors
(for WU Qingshui)
Nov. 12, 2008
《憩》Relaxing Room [日] 石川弘Hiromu Ishikawa (1923-)作