Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Kiji Kutani

Gambling

DISTANCING MYSELF
FROM THE KITCHEN
WHERE PREPARATIONS FOR DINNER
ARE UNDERWAY,
I GO OFF ALONE,
FOLD MY ROUND BODY INTO A SQUARE SHAPE
AND HOLE UP
IN A CARDBOARD BOX
STILL REDOLENT
OF PEARS
WHERE, WITH NO ONE ELSE AROUND
AND NO WAD OF MOVABLE BILLS,
I LOSE MYSELF
IN QUIET
GAMBLING.

I LONG
TO KEEL OVER
SILENTLY
IN A GRASSLESS
FIELD
AND LISTEN,
AS DAY BY DAY
THEIR EYES
WEAR STEADILY THINNER,
TO THE SIGH
OF THE DICE.

AND
TO TICK OFF
THE YEARS
TILL MY PALMS
SHAKING DICE
ARE NOTHING BUT
MOIST ASH.

IN THE DARK CORNERS
OF THE CARDBOARD BOX,
I KEPT UP
A SLIGHT BOUNDING MOTION.
MY ARMS STRETCHING STRAIGHT
INTO THE DEPTHS
OF A GLOWING MIST
TINGED WITH CRIMSON,
AS I SOUGHT TO GRASP
THE INDISTINCT THREAD
THAT SEPARATES WIN FROM LOSS.

BUT THEN
THE AROMA
RISING FROM COOKED RICE
FASTENED ONTO MY
BACK
COVERED IN PRICKLY HEAT RASH
AND DRAGGED ME OUT
OF THE BOX.
WITHIN THE CRIMSON MIST
FAINTLY STAINING
THE CORNERS,
NO DOUBT
THOSE STEAMY
BREATHS I DREW
WHILE GAMBLING
STILL OVERLAP,
CONTINUING EVEN NOW
THEIR REVERBERATIONS.

GAMBLING

Close

Gambling

DISTANCING MYSELF
FROM THE KITCHEN
WHERE PREPARATIONS FOR DINNER
ARE UNDERWAY,
I GO OFF ALONE,
FOLD MY ROUND BODY INTO A SQUARE SHAPE
AND HOLE UP
IN A CARDBOARD BOX
STILL REDOLENT
OF PEARS
WHERE, WITH NO ONE ELSE AROUND
AND NO WAD OF MOVABLE BILLS,
I LOSE MYSELF
IN QUIET
GAMBLING.

I LONG
TO KEEL OVER
SILENTLY
IN A GRASSLESS
FIELD
AND LISTEN,
AS DAY BY DAY
THEIR EYES
WEAR STEADILY THINNER,
TO THE SIGH
OF THE DICE.

AND
TO TICK OFF
THE YEARS
TILL MY PALMS
SHAKING DICE
ARE NOTHING BUT
MOIST ASH.

IN THE DARK CORNERS
OF THE CARDBOARD BOX,
I KEPT UP
A SLIGHT BOUNDING MOTION.
MY ARMS STRETCHING STRAIGHT
INTO THE DEPTHS
OF A GLOWING MIST
TINGED WITH CRIMSON,
AS I SOUGHT TO GRASP
THE INDISTINCT THREAD
THAT SEPARATES WIN FROM LOSS.

BUT THEN
THE AROMA
RISING FROM COOKED RICE
FASTENED ONTO MY
BACK
COVERED IN PRICKLY HEAT RASH
AND DRAGGED ME OUT
OF THE BOX.
WITHIN THE CRIMSON MIST
FAINTLY STAINING
THE CORNERS,
NO DOUBT
THOSE STEAMY
BREATHS I DREW
WHILE GAMBLING
STILL OVERLAP,
CONTINUING EVEN NOW
THEIR REVERBERATIONS.

Gambling

DISTANCING MYSELF
FROM THE KITCHEN
WHERE PREPARATIONS FOR DINNER
ARE UNDERWAY,
I GO OFF ALONE,
FOLD MY ROUND BODY INTO A SQUARE SHAPE
AND HOLE UP
IN A CARDBOARD BOX
STILL REDOLENT
OF PEARS
WHERE, WITH NO ONE ELSE AROUND
AND NO WAD OF MOVABLE BILLS,
I LOSE MYSELF
IN QUIET
GAMBLING.

I LONG
TO KEEL OVER
SILENTLY
IN A GRASSLESS
FIELD
AND LISTEN,
AS DAY BY DAY
THEIR EYES
WEAR STEADILY THINNER,
TO THE SIGH
OF THE DICE.

AND
TO TICK OFF
THE YEARS
TILL MY PALMS
SHAKING DICE
ARE NOTHING BUT
MOIST ASH.

IN THE DARK CORNERS
OF THE CARDBOARD BOX,
I KEPT UP
A SLIGHT BOUNDING MOTION.
MY ARMS STRETCHING STRAIGHT
INTO THE DEPTHS
OF A GLOWING MIST
TINGED WITH CRIMSON,
AS I SOUGHT TO GRASP
THE INDISTINCT THREAD
THAT SEPARATES WIN FROM LOSS.

BUT THEN
THE AROMA
RISING FROM COOKED RICE
FASTENED ONTO MY
BACK
COVERED IN PRICKLY HEAT RASH
AND DRAGGED ME OUT
OF THE BOX.
WITHIN THE CRIMSON MIST
FAINTLY STAINING
THE CORNERS,
NO DOUBT
THOSE STEAMY
BREATHS I DREW
WHILE GAMBLING
STILL OVERLAP,
CONTINUING EVEN NOW
THEIR REVERBERATIONS.
Sponsors
Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Ludo Pieters Gastschrijver Fonds
Hendrik Muller fonds
Lira fonds
J.E. Jurriaanse
Literature Translation Institute of Korea
Partners
LantarenVenster – Verhalenhuis Belvédère