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Poem

Kiji Kutani

Hello Goodbye

Even if time
stretched like taffy
from past to future —
that wouldn’t be so bad.

On waking in the morning
while brushing my teeth in front of the mirror
I could review over and over
a conclusion I’d just come to.

It’s okay. My face today
is no different from yesterday;
it’s not a bit ashen.

After I brush my teeth
I’ll put on some lipstick, get into my spacesuit,
and tumble on up
the morning-moist slope.

(running out of the front door
in my stockinged feet)

The butcher’s wife
calls “hello hello”
to a dirigible on TV
and cops
drop their lines
on shiny green lawns.

A vision of partition
blinding as thermal paper
presses towards my back
with fish-like rhythm

(for the habit of saying
an immediate farewell)
(to all those I’ve met
or collided with)
(let it be only a
wisp of wind)
(I still haven’t
found a cure)

so there you are.

HELLO GOODBYE

Close

Hello Goodbye

Even if time
stretched like taffy
from past to future —
that wouldn’t be so bad.

On waking in the morning
while brushing my teeth in front of the mirror
I could review over and over
a conclusion I’d just come to.

It’s okay. My face today
is no different from yesterday;
it’s not a bit ashen.

After I brush my teeth
I’ll put on some lipstick, get into my spacesuit,
and tumble on up
the morning-moist slope.

(running out of the front door
in my stockinged feet)

The butcher’s wife
calls “hello hello”
to a dirigible on TV
and cops
drop their lines
on shiny green lawns.

A vision of partition
blinding as thermal paper
presses towards my back
with fish-like rhythm

(for the habit of saying
an immediate farewell)
(to all those I’ve met
or collided with)
(let it be only a
wisp of wind)
(I still haven’t
found a cure)

so there you are.

Hello Goodbye

Even if time
stretched like taffy
from past to future —
that wouldn’t be so bad.

On waking in the morning
while brushing my teeth in front of the mirror
I could review over and over
a conclusion I’d just come to.

It’s okay. My face today
is no different from yesterday;
it’s not a bit ashen.

After I brush my teeth
I’ll put on some lipstick, get into my spacesuit,
and tumble on up
the morning-moist slope.

(running out of the front door
in my stockinged feet)

The butcher’s wife
calls “hello hello”
to a dirigible on TV
and cops
drop their lines
on shiny green lawns.

A vision of partition
blinding as thermal paper
presses towards my back
with fish-like rhythm

(for the habit of saying
an immediate farewell)
(to all those I’ve met
or collided with)
(let it be only a
wisp of wind)
(I still haven’t
found a cure)

so there you are.
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