Wednesday, December 23, 2015



edited by Jane Joritz-Nakagawa

thanks to: Jelena ANDJELOVSKI, Maxine CHERNOFF, Yoko DANNO, Trane DeVORE, Anne ELVEY, Marcus GRANDON, Natsuko HIRATA, Cynthia HOGUE, Kiyoko OGAWA, Steven SEIDENBERG, Jeffrey SIDE, Hideko SUEOKA, Susan Laura SULLIVAN, Cyril WONG and Mark YOUNG

dear TRUCK readers,

Thanks to Halvard Johnson for inviting me to curate the December 2015 TRUCK.

Fifteen poets in Australia, England, Japan, Serbia, Singapore, and the U.S.A. responded to a call for work / work in progress on the subject of incompleteness / the world is not enough.  

I present their work in the following order:  GRANDON (cover art, above) followed below by  poetry from HOGUE, SEIDENBERG, ELVEY, YOUNG, CHERNOFF, DANNO, WONG, SUEOKA, JORITZ-NAKAGAWA [myself], SIDE, ANDJELOVSKI, HIRATA, DeVORE, SULLIVAN, and OGAWA, concluding with artist biodata for everyone.

(to be-frend)

  • (Defense of) (Connect to)
  • Fortified in the house: la femme à la fenêtre
  • the most poetical topic in the world 
  • Heres freedom, C    ONES OWN ROOM 
  • good frend, Ill lock you out   

Damn Spot
(Lady Macbeth)

Between room 
and sky
a curtain falls.
Not much visible, audible.  
Cloud-outlines.  Horn 
toots. A truck farts 
(backfires).  Inside the carpet
reds wet, menstrual,
the spot welling like 
the heart that is full, 
dry wall so easily 
punched through,
though no ones face. 
Not this time.
No one to face.

After a Rape 
for D.B.


Fractures the 
person you 
were after which 
theres no (you ) 
Forget to converse


Waking confuse name
Sever sometime hence
Violated you because 
Uncomfortable feeling for


Spirits come in dreams
Talk in spells
Words you dont know 
if  they speak to 
or cure you


A magpie looks after  
You mend    
may Beneath 
integument the cord of
you holds fast


from Grenzbegriff 

Blue tines open, milk wash curdled

to the bluing page.

The indigence of the infinite,

unlike that of the eternal,

not proportioned to its transience,

to the transport of its transience

thus eternally presumed.

What, you ask of something

you call deed against the logos,

of that trickle in the transverse

that opposes

that its turned,

allows the stricken gist to fix

its opposite as ornament,

remarked the sludge and welter

of this cordon of the ontic, first

and featly flung in suffering

but equally


Who, that is, could feed the worlds


feed the world

its emptiness

while cobbling its nature the


of its mode,

then fit the sky                its shoe of night

by buckle, blue with stars


And fondled (thats

the word for it, for every

schism cut to fit

its carapace            a line)

open (thats

the name for it, each

digit forms


a lobulated


to carry off

the space between

the once and final

echo and

the silence that

portends the hearkened

vow against

the flood



Break the thread of it
the strung mat(t)er sung
harp of it. Break it

her need spooling you
the all of it. Break
the you of it, the sprung

no of it, the emptied I
of it. Break the thread
of her need, the temple

throb of it. Break it.
It tears. Test the fray
of it. The fray of you

and of me. The needles
eye held to the light.
Moisten the frayed end.

On driving inland from the Great Ocean Road

Steep wind and cloud  
sun glints on grains 

of friable splendour, the budge 
of things unmade and made. 

The roo is unseen but its mate
prone form is so like the animal  

we areeach in the flung 
surprise of rigor toward 

acceleration. A human scene 
unravels with every potholed 

species. Against the night
road train dna 

persists. We can taste
no more and toss the last 

home grown tomato 
into the quarantine bin.

Next morning the sun 
makes branchwork lace 

that lyrics itself as we eye it. 
The wind ruffles the light. 


In each 
indentation for 
a needleto spare 
a finger 
or the thumb

I have placed 
a speck of soil
and sown the least 
of seeds. 
What grows 

is feythe kind
of garden sold 
at Sunday markets 
or worn on hats 
for Oaks Day. 

When it rains 
a Rivendell sprouts 
like the allure 
of a cultural 


To introduce the invented cousin

The poolpump clicks 
off & nothing is silent. 

Later we went for a walk
beside the train lines.

You read to me from
a book you found

growing in a bright 
purple bougainvillea.

I didnt recognize
the text. Brecht. 

The Good Person of 
Szechwan. You took 

all the parts. Small birds
provided the punctuation.

They / both wound / up eating pasta

The testimonial banquet is
full of public places, most 
of them associated with 
errands. Anonymous plants
grow between the cracks, 
a piano tuning delay sends
small waves of water over
the street. Toronto's die- 

hard Batman fans enter 
into a dialogue with a dead 
cop found on the sidewalk 
below an apartment window. 
Her prose is flattened, much
like an unpressed tuxedo.

A line from Yoshindo Yoshihara

Never rewarded for it,
but she was a virtuous
woman. Some element of
luck involved, something 

to do with the mutual 
repulsion of grease & 
water. Otherwise she was
carnivorous, capable of 

short bursts of speed, 
leaving what was left 
of her prey behind as 
long sweet roots. These 

were later made into that 
hard black paste used 
during the Renaissance as 
both flavoring & canvas 

size. Move closer to the 
painting, press your nose 
against the glass that now
protects it. Deep breaths.



 In rooms of sleep 
 your silent witness
 is a glove, blue with
 density as a summer lake.
 On a light-speckled landing,
 you turn to observe  
 the view, finding a gap
 that isn't as much window
 as bent mirror.
 Prophetic curtains
 enchant the absence 
 with a vocal breeze
 and notion of a plan.
 What you thought
 a fault line
 removes the capable
 earth, blistering desire.
 An orb of sleep lifts you 
 before the flood of rushing
 error sweeps the
 the scene. Complacent 
 and composed you carve
 the perfect window,
 light arriving for
 the hour of its framing.

To live in a comma,
caesura of consciousness
washed by an afternoon
of close listening, bent,
as bodies incline toward
a locus of light, adept
at glistening as herald or star.

Who says existence when
when towns are buried and history
ties us to minerals stored
in a hermits dark cell?

You are chained to remorse,
grow perilous feathers
as day lifts its cover and
the dangers of nightfall
are buffed bright.

Night is a piano,
darkness its minor keys.
Ghosts witness 
the retreat of the song.


                    Pebbles to Pigeons
          on the riverside wild pigeons come flying
          from nowherei have nothing to feed them,
          no crumbs, no seeds, no words, but watch
          them picking at wet pebbles , or edible gems
               the way the sound buzzes
               in my ears is threatening
             shaggy peaks shine before sunset,
             lava erupts from a crack of smile 
                  i think, therefore i am,
                  who said that? my mind
                  is outside my heart as if
                  churned in a washing 

          memories rise, precarious scenes absorbed, 
          changed, filtered, through a myth-making 
          process as benign air comes through the ozone 
          layer; what you wanted to be is the issue 

                    Time to Leave
          i drank green tea & orange juice,
          and finally finished with red wine
          autumnal leaves tinged my brain,
          dont sleep in the rain, my dear
          a stranger standing at the back door 
          of my house asked for a bowl of herb 
          teafor years, he said, hes been trying 
          to sing after his vocal cords was excised  
          cups and glasses unwrapped,
          cloths still hanging in the wardrobe,
          bundles of goods for removal 
                              on the floor
          stop falling sakura, Im not ready yet
                                   to leave
          staring into a crystal ball is no avail 
          in looking for hair-pins or the future


the ground,
I knit
a pullover 
for my lover, 
the yarn not long enough  
to complete the fancy pattern

Lingering in my overgrown garden, 
I found thistles to my taste, 
dry nettles not,
pears resemble avocados 
only in shapeI realized 
I didnt know what on earth I was

Men were digging a ditch along a sasanqua
hedge―“Why is this necessary here?
One of the workers mumbled, To support 
families in needto keep us going…”

A black swallowtail fluttering 
     from a mist of orange blossoms 
revealed to me an empty hallway
     through a crack in the closed door,
a shaft of sunlight piercing the dark


For J

The last thing I wished to do
was write about you, but here we are:
spiraling from drug-addled panic, 
a final solution to that voice in your head
(maybe God made you do it),
loneliness and despair too much to bear,
or all of the above, you flung yourself
off the highest floor of a building

and what Im left with is the night
you shouted at me for not paying attention
to the other presence in the hotel room
you accused me of refusing to hear,
the one who teased you for liking me,
and winning every argument because, frankly, 
he never gave a shit what you thought 
or whether I was deaf or not. 

Forgive me for not saying more,
for saying nothing, for leaving you
alone with that bastard I too wished 
I might never hear. (What did he say
the rest of the morning as sunlight
murdered the shadows at your feet?)
I could have done nothing more for you
this isnt just a lie I tell myself. 

After I heard the news about you,
I dialed your number from a payphone,
the stupidity of wishing the news werent true,
that your shy self might pick up
at the other end. Your phone didnt connect; 
it must have smashed inside your pocket.
The dial tone kept coming back, divided in three 
ascending tones, two for us and the third 

for the one that will never be heard again.


I slow my gait
because I carry the dead
inside me, whose names
nobody remembers;

whose queer lives concluded
in empty rooms loud with solitude
and a dwindling aria of grief
and actual bodily pain.

I take a breath, deep and long,
and elaborate my walk
and nourish my contempt for the world
before exhaling it back into the world.

I shut my eyes on the bus
to redraw their faces,
reminded that we could have switched places;
that if I had been the one to die,
they might think of me in passing
and repress a sigh

of guilt or relief
or some feeling in betweenwho can say?

I press the bell. I get off the bus,
after writing this on my phone, of course;
the luxurious deception of words
with their promise to comfort and heal
and unite us with ghosts.

I carry on, or is it life
that carries on like a bouquet 
of balloons released into the air,
a mad smear of colours thinning across the sky?


Every path traversed, the way 
every place, the quiet collapse
of our multiverse, buildings 
shuddering when they
have never stirred before, 
shivering to a different standstill,
park benches arching like cats
then settling into benches.

What has faltered
is the belief that nothing 
has been altered. In medias res,
that story has begun 
to be recanted. 



                                                     are shaped 
                                               ancient pyramid 
                                            with many mysteries 
                                           composed of acrylic glass,
                        turn down rays of the august sun appearing 
                      in patches, extending long diagonals hour by hour;  
                light allowing somnolence to sway or each eye to be blind 
    You change the light to a straight rainbow that turns the tint of a door ajar 
behind another Dollys clone and a sealed petri plate foalchemy in a cramped lab.


From terra form(a) / {{terrain grammar}}

entrance to canyon 
blow flat dimension
massive sky flits w/velocity
drained of desire gauzy weed
colonial trigger raw noise awry

environs of entangled
sequence of craft safety
smelting pot of couture
let me be language
in all its stupidity

museum season in leaky aisle
stands in the sitting room
abstract laundry hides
surreal apronry
gap of distilled edges

royal drudge near loose
animal downfall
chiseled weaponry fluted out
vulgar in its peak
of pure display

bone sandwich
garter freeze frame stands on ceremony
intrusive garland distributed
an effect of language
manifold smoothing

raging quench stuck with magic sprinkles
matching brutality perseveres ever
calendar grip sprouts prayer
if ever a far moth dotes
on window dressing dark blank safety magnifying

footsoles of yesterdays tragedy
heres hoping
redeemed nest of air
pneumatic community leans sullenly against
ominous inputting device

in the messianic metropolis of seduction
puzzling like private space
languishing in gene pools
forever spurning death tolls likely to rise to the occasion
every crude gesture awaits

lesbian in my head
useless consciousness bailouts
forgive my father who has sinned
in logical testaments to paralysis
a view of rotten flowers

in an imagined landscape
applied to language
sprout wings where defenseless
pouring all day
to the right and left of meaning

toward the peripheral
harbinger of ethics
displaced by language
mist forced into words
by a notched grammar



The ejaculatory 
life is 
the salvation 
meteor of 
futility or 
fidelity willingly 
false more 
by your 
leave during 
times of 
cultural tautologies
other destinations 
ready love 
in the 
breach always 
ambivalent mystery 
reality waiting 
to be 
defiled in 
the uninterrupted 
present wings 
will be 
effortless for 
aliens needy 
of platonic 
mist or 
evolutionary doubts 
in music 
pirate maiden



I remember China
I knew
she'll need centuries
to let go
standing in lines
normality of standing in lines.


Rayner and I
we were 
on that train

Night ride. 
Buying the tickets.
The station, bushes of people.
I'm from Nigeria.
I'm going to France.
Why no one from Israel?
Because, I speak French.
I'm a hairdresser.
My cat stayed in ruins.
Lucky you.
I couldn't bring my dog.
Are you religious?
I don't believe in god.
I'm a paleontologist.
Don't understand.
Are you Muslim?
Don't believe in god.
Who's giving you bread?
Me to myself.
Then, in whom do you believe?
In this Rayner here.
Take 200 Euros.
Buy us a ticket.
There's no ticket for this train.
They don't want to sell it to us.
How evil.
Breaking our legs.
Cutting our wings. 
Good luck.
Joyful children.
Funny people.
Proud granny.
After a whole life
into the new one.
Hard is the beginning.
It's not a love push.
Not a mummy's hand.

Night falls. Rayner in my lap. Looking wild. Never looked so wild.
Street lights cut the dark and we see each other. Who's afraid of

A boy cries in his sleep. 
Rayner and I, we cuddle him.
Daddy hugs him.
It's quiet.
It's hard.
Desire in a guy's eyes.
Grandpa's broken back.
Night is over.
As the silent show.
Police enters.
Do you have a passport?
You are breaking the foreigner's law.
Step out.
Good morning.
Dialogue repeats.
In this late train
now, only
night dregs
white Europeans
black cat
and me.


BBC radio is broadcasting a birthday celebration for Arvo Pärt.
Applause, applause, applause. He wears a long black jacket and long
white beard. Deeply touched, he is back on stage, yes. Yes. From this
distance, I can't hear his tears. Applause, applause, applause - grand
music of the crowd. Touches me as a cry of a woman in a Buddhist
temple, as the Buddha's smile that same summer day. Cry is a cry, joy
is a cry and sadness turns into joy and life is one thing. When did this
happen. Till now, Arvo died so many times.



She selects her own future.
Then steps 
to an unknown deck
which does not approve her.
She approves.

And finds a plonk bar 
at windy port---
She lies on
Midtown ground---

like a stone nation
opening her libretto
into the atmosphere.


From 152 Temples and Shrines

No. 4

The magnolia opens itself up
into a thousand petals,
called in some languages
the pangolin flower

if you put panties on a pangolin
and let it roll into a roll
it might have something of
the bloom on it, a kind of
scent of 


still, however, its winter and
the magnolias are cold rolled
and hard like buckeyes.

Inside each one, a hard nut
of butter most perspicuous

waiting to melt into the sky
     with the hot yellow sun.


two tickets won to see someone don a monster mask at the folk
museum landed in the mailbox this afternoon

a ladybird black
hoovering mites on
unsprayed chrysanthemums

honey sweet to strangers,
the woman on the corner
cries okaeri nasai 
trudging past, groceries on my back
a baby on the hip,
a sack of potatoes not able to curl
legs around, mould into
the softness of flesh
my mother said
I was a similar
bundle of
protuberance and I
Mike near the refrigerators,
hed gone swimming.
had strong-armed me five minutes
through the park and
dawdled still as I
almost walked right past
needing to detect
the alignment of pins
to trip the day
into an autumnal roundness only
just brushed by winters lips
there was one more,
one more
one more present
to [re]collect.

mt. fuji - shimizu

in the shadow of this mountain my life has been spent the red torii frames me in its pi i rest against the doors of the newest shrine a neighbourhood box backing the empty seiyu department store its bins once provided me with all the food i needed the trains can be heard rattling past the mowing of the cars on the highway now i flip the cat door of the change box of the green phone jigsawed to the corner of the road hoping to find a few coins unsettling the air the panoply of a magician whose doves have flown. 

a piece of tarpaulin
wrapped around
a telegraph pole 
on this gray day
a blue
tattered shawl



early January

a dog with three legs



yellow sand

toward me who's been

left behind by the world


a white butterfly

on dokudami flowers

my heart in necrosis


Jelena ANDJELOVSKI, dramaturg and poet, is the author of the poetry books Homeland, rage machine and 09:99am. She lives in Serbia and can be reached at jelenandjelovski (at)

Maxine CHERNOFF is the author of fourteen books of poetry and winner of a 2013 NEA Fellowship in Poetry as well as heads the creative writing program at San Francisco State University.

Japanese poet Yoko DANNO has written poetry solely in English for decades. She is the author of several chapbooks and books of poetry and translations. Visit  

Trane DeVORE grew up in the the San Francisco Bay Area, where he lived for most of his adult life before moving to Japan in 2005 to teach at Osaka University.  He has published two books of poetry ― series/mnemonic (Avec Books, 1999) and Dust Habit (Avec Books, 2005) ― and his work has appeared in numerous publications, including the most recent issues of The Catamaran Literary Reader and The Island Reader When hes not busy keeping up with academic work or listening to records, he likes to write and take photographs.

Anne ELVEY lives in Seaford, Victoria and is managing editor of Plumwood Mountain: An Australian Journal of Ecopoetry and Ecopoetics. Her poetry collection Kin (Five Islands Press, 2014) was shortlisted for the Kenneth Slessor Poetry Prize 2015. Her new chapbook This Flesh That You Know, international winner of the Overleaf Chapbook Manuscript award, was published by Leaf Press (Canada) in 2015.

Marcus GRANDON  is a multimedia artist, writer, and educator living in Shizuoka City, Japan. Currently , his creative work focuses on both digital paintings and videos of cityscapes. He can be reached at marccusgrandon (at)

Natsuko HIRATA is a resident of Tokyo. She is the editor of Quince Wharf and has translated the work of Sandy Macintosh and Thomas Fink. Her poetry has appeared in the Marsh Hawk Review, Otoliths, and BlazeVOX, and she can be reached via email at midsummerchild (at)

Cynthia HOGUE has published eight collections of poetry, including Revenance (Red Hen Press 2014), listed as one of the 2014 standout books by the Academy of American Poets.  She is a 2015 NEA Fellow in Translation, and directs the MFA program in English at Arizona State University.

Jane JORITZ-NAKAGAWA's most recent three books are FLUX (BlazeVox, USA, 2013), the chapbook wildblacklake (Hank's Original Loose  Gravel Press, USA, 2014) and distant landscapes (Theenk Books, USA, 2015). She lives in central Japan. Email is welcome at janejoritznakagawa(at)gmail(dot)com.

Kiyoko OGAWA is a Kyoto-born poet, essayist and academic.  She has published five English and three Japanese books of poetry as well as a monograph on T.S.Eliot.  Her recent publication is A Single Flower: 100 Bilingual Tanka 2003-2014.

Steven SEIDENBERG is a San Francisco based writer and visual artist. He is the author of Itch (RAW ArT Press, 2014), Null Set (Spooky Actions Books, 2014) and Songs of Surrender (Gummi-Geliebter Verlag, 2013), co-edits pallaksch.pallaksch (Instance Press), an annual anthology of new poetry, and curates poetry events and publications at The Lab in San Francisco.  A collection of his photographs is forthcoming in 2016 from Lodima Press.

Jeffrey SIDE is the editor of The Argotist  Online and has  had poems published in many print and online  magazines. He has also reviewed  poetry for many print and online  magazines. His publications include  Carrier of the Seed,  Distorted Reflections, Slimvol and  Collected  Poetry Reviews 2004-2013.

Hideko SUEOKA was born in Japan and lives in Tokyo. Recent work appears in The Forward Book of Poetry 2015, the poetry and prose webzine Ink, Sweat & Tears, and the online journal Stravaig. 

Susan Laura SULLIVAN writes poetry, prose, essays and sometimes performs. Her latest work can be found in Rat’s Ass Review, The Font, and the anthology In Their Branches. 

Cyril WONG is a Singaporean poet, fictionist and critic whose last poetry collection was The Lover's Inventory (Math Paper Press, 2015).

Mark YOUNG is the editor of the online poetry journal Otoliths, lives in a small town in North Queensland in Australia, & has been publishing poetry for more than fifty-five years. His work has been widely anthologized, & his poetry & essays translated into a number of languages. A new collection of poems, Bandicoot habitat, is now out from Gradient Books in Finland.