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small poems Yuko Otomo

Ugly duck l ing p r e sse

Spring Snow (Ce-Pha-Lo-Phore) a house cat is watching spring snow through a glass window on the wall a headless man is running thinking, carrying his far-sighted forest brain at my feet an ancient grain is swimming in a pool of melancholy and there is not so much day time left

4 | Spring Snow

Even Loop Poem snow was even on the roof even color the surface must be perfectly even even as even so

5 | Even Loop Poem

Trading —you took my belt it was 50 cents (you know) —you took my life (&) it was nothing

6 | Trading

Winter Storm looking at the bottom of my feet I felt a dead-serious alienation from myself I could not believe that they are my feet, my toes last night a howling wind washed ashore did it?

7 | Winter Storm

Attitude of Mind in summer we love wind in winter we hate it wind never changes

8 | Attitude of Mind

Spring Song when winter flowers bend their heads with a touch of spring in the air one desperate man crushes his smiles and says hello dog hello women hello friends

9 | Spring Song

Spring we wear floral patterns & pretend that we are birds who says a chair does not talk to the sky? mysteries in Gorky still reject my words

10 | Spring

General Botany all you need is air water & (slight) light night & day all around love?


11 | General Botany

Garden (for Isamu Noguchi) a boy is born of a swimmer & a poet he hears nature’s voice in a perfectly split ripened peach & dictates sounds of a brook a dead bird cannot scare him for he sees all

12 | Garden (for Isamu Noguchi)

Miyabi my thoughts escape to nowhere as I stand on this shore— no peach flowers, but roses to recite somebody else’s old poem

13 | Miyabi

Darling far behind your distant profile hands stretch to sway to grow & to grow for light unexpectedly wind passes & trembles your lashes “O, is this a trade-wind in my blood?� you murmur & nod

14 | Darling

A Pebble on a Beach (to) have & (or) (to) have not when you whistle a pain goes to your elbow

15 | A Pebble on a Beach

Shoes pressing myself on a pomegranate-colored wall I imagined that I was nothing when the wall almost swallowed me I felt my feet and their bareness startled me

16 | Shoes

In a Summer Square Ezra Pound makes no noise in an Italian Square Buckminster Fuller is much more talkative than you imagine he would be

17 | In a Summer Square

A Frank O’Hara on the 5th Ave. on a day like this, only an unhappy truck driver will look at me

18 | A Frank O’Hara

Hunger today I saw some people eating pretzels three merrily chattering women blocked our way we do not particularly feel sorry for missing things

19 | Hunger

Pornography waiting for a poet of whom someone said once worked in Wall St. to start we suck lemon rind I don’t know (but) your fingernails look small tonight whether it is essential or not, nobody has to bang the floor to tell me how the glass breaks

20 | Pornography

Untitled stone angels a bucket of wax another bucket of wax I don’t need to sit in a gazebo

21 | Untitled

The Well to fall or to rise, darkness & the speed wrap your face around with a dreaming smile

22 | The Well

Autumn Leaves “do you like it?” “I love it! “ a man keeps drumming on a wooden drawer

23 | Autumn Leaves

Tuning I do not particularly enjoy listening to music while surrounded by so-called political art a musician takes his clarinet out & plays one flat note at least for a moment I feel as if I were on a green hill

24 | Tuning

Culture (for Steve) you’re getting meaner these days maybe you should stop going to MoMA a little while

25 | Culture (for Steve)

At the Gallery mud masks drift wood I’ve forgotten how to write a suicide note I wish you wouldn’t ask who I am

26 | At the Gallery

Marcel Duchamp he was a dandy he was a cigar-holding gentle-man

27 | Marcel Duchamp

Duchampian Reconstruction of My Personality learn to be idle & not to feel guilty about it

28 | Duchampian Reconstruction of My Personality

Idol since my father was not such a gentle-man when he was young I did not idolize him, but I effortlessly learned of a man

29 | Idol

Meeting Godard to meet our hero in flesh to hear his voice speaking to us we are all like newborns he smiles & we smile

30 | Meeting Godard

Mondrian/Flowers (after Steve) a painter must have lent his ears to a breath of flowers

31 | Mondrian/Flowers (after Steve)

Medardo Rosso a hollowed plaster cast is a cave, where soul breathes the eternal our skin is wax, & it melts when darkness & sorrow get too hot to bear

32 | Medaro Rosso

Muse they use Nietzsche for beer Beethoven for shoes soon, they will use you, Steve, for a cooking pot

33 | Muse

Aesop’s Fable there is a dog looks like a fox. he loves to mirror himself on the wall people adore him for his indifference to them

34 | Aesop’s Fable

Reason I have a sincere yearning for an empty space— it could be a room or a field there, I will lay down on my back to look at darkness behind an ever-expanding sky in that position I will think that I was not yet born

35 | Reason

A Speed Rail I don’t know what it means to be a butcher’s apprentice nor to be a chimney sweeper a magic to learn & eyes to follow to the river

36 | A Speed Rail


second edition, 2010 The first edition of Small Poems (2005) was printed and bound at Ugly Duckling Presse in an edition of 250, the first 50 of which were numbered and signed by the author. This second edition was printed and bound at The Press Room in Albany, NY. The covers for this edition were letterpressed at the Ugly Duckling Presse workshop at the Old American Can Factory, Brooklyn, NY, using the first-edition polymer plates supplied by Soho Letterpress. Design by Garth Graeper and Anna Moschovakis, and Matvei Yankelevich. Typeset in Futura. Of the 500 copies in the second edition, the first 50 are signed and numbered, and include an original drawing by the author.

ten doll ars ISBN# 1-933254-11- 4 UGLY DUCKLING PRESSE w w

Small Poems by Yuko Otomo  

Chapbook of poetry.