Monday, November 5, 2012

Japanese wood block printing


Thin curls coaxed from the grain released
from all claim by the dogged
rooting of the spoon gouge,

bone white ribbon
easing itself to the fragrant floor,
spiral cherry rivulet

lost in the churn at the feet of the carver
is the first thing I remember.
A churlish man I recall, the burl of his squint

screening detail and smoke
from his cigarette,  
a blue double helix rising in mirror image,

a lowering ceiling steeping
his head in stormy weather
gimlet eye brewing heavy seas

a tempest lipping
at the canted rim of a petal thin
tea cup, the striated wave

heaving for the heavens,
top lopped off clean by sheering wind,
the fluter and the veiner alive and biting

in the hands of the carver who cuts me free
at last, rendered in stark relief at
the boiling crest of the surf break.

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