from Seven Poems

Shuzo Takiguchi

Salvador Dalí

The scream of long stripes
awakens the downy pebbles.
A pockmarked void
is a woman's moon face
like a butterfly in uniform
sadly perching tonight
on a headless face.
on a sleepless bench
were amphibians out of lake water.
Now the globe
suffers from severe nostalgia,
and the space, filled with terrifying desire,
shudders stiffly like a triangle.
In the historic glow of a sunset
humans embrace one another.
A flock of starved, timid sparrows
flies down
in the big spectacle of terrifying twentieth-century objects.
It is the container and content of the universe.
The fascinating complex
of pure infants.
An enormous fastener-bag grand piano
is a mask with a gaping mouth.
Along the word Dalí
lies a mysterious ruined seashore.
Dalí—the chilling sound of the waves.

Max Ernst

A night traveler
night's cryptic handcuffs
like a piece of meat.

At voiceless midnight
a letter of mimicry arrives
in care of the Gobi desert.

A can of words
is mistaken for a piece of meat
by starved, eternal birds.

One night
a human gift
was burning like a flower. 

Pablo Picasso

The sad eyes
of flying birds
are hammered into our blood
like songs.
Pupils and lips in water speak
to ears and a forehead in the ground.
Love in the wind
raises a gentle voice
and opens the petals of windows.
A white chair bends its black leg
and stabs a breast
like a sword.

At moonrise
a woman drops her eyes to her bare skin.
A map smeared with blood
spreads its blue.
The wings of waterbirds
hide the ocean.
The color of milk slightly
hides the color of blood.

translated from the Japanese by Yuki Tanaka and Mary Jo Bang