June 14th would have been Ko Murobushi‘s birthday. June 18th will be the 5th anniversary of his death.
He was one of my butoh teachers.
Last year I wrote some words for his birthday, but did not publish them at that time. I reworked them now into something better than before; maybe. The words are not adequate, but there they are.
Going through my old papers, I found a loose sheet in a notebook with a poem composed by Ko-san. It was typed in imperfect English so I gave the text some light editing in a way that made sense to me.
Does the dead mind such things?
Does the living?
I can’t tell any more.
If you are wondering, the poems do not go together. They are not in dialogue with one another. They just exist in proximity to one another on this page. Like I existed in proximity to Ko-san in New York.
i think of you
from just two letters
small-larger than life
in the studio, on the stage
human languages failing
those in-breathing screeches
how drunk were you
you threw yourself onto the floor
in a fit of lean, wondering muscle
i was a terrible student
full of ghosts
watering from cigarette smoke
a hopeless body
i break in all the places
you maybe never imagine existed
a tarnished silver
i’ll not shine that bright
ever too long, ever so clumsy
a flabby shadow
matched only at the back
in shared kyphosis
|trying to die,|
i started to dance.
so today is the day i will meet the tiger.
i can’t help it if he eats me-
even- i don’t mind if he fucks me-
we could also rend each other.
i would jump into the empty sky then
hanging with shreds of bitten flesh.
the moment i throw my body,
i grasp another form.
there is no other way to stay alive.
then it is as if my other self-double
bears further other doubles.
from the dying body
diverse other selves that cannot
be called but awkward
are made, flutter then scatter.
they are unevenly distributed,
without a distinguishable border between any of them
and as if they would disappear everywhere
after catching the memory of the unknown.
can we as limited process,
as ephemeral life
live an unlimited life?