Sunday, May 13, 2007

Two Poems from Sawako Nakayasu

This poet has all these ant poems and for some reason I just can't get enough of them! There's a few more in issue #12 of 6X6 which is a pretty solid issue put out by Ugly Duckling Presse.

Insect Medleys

by Sawako Nakayasu


One year ago today, a video camera was released upon the public market – a camera that is the result of years and years of development by a pair of French engineers, having been fine-tuned to such a degree that it can capture the kissing of a pair of ants – mandible to mandible, from a great enough distance so as not to disturb them.

All issues of privacy aside, the true test of academic excellence in our children now rests entirely on their ability to measure the heat transfer in an ant kiss – which will be exhibited at this year’s International Junior Insect Olympics, which is something like a science fair for the young minds of the world. Who will go home with the gold medal this year? Which Asian country is showing the greatest promise in its youth? A controversy breaks out when a group of Americans from somewhere with a low literacy, high bravado rate pull up to the event with their own version of the Ant Kiss Project, involving genetically mutated ants, ants as big as your average American SUV. Oh you ain’t leaving our children behind just yet, insist their parents. Just you wait an’ see.

No Collective
for Yu Nakai

Believing themselves to be quite progressive for their species, a group of ants get together and decide to form a collective. They gather the necessary documentation, fill out all the proper information in the correct little boxes, get photos taken in appropriate size and dimension and angle, and step precisely through every single hoop required of them to become an officially recognized collective.

Their application is denied, however, on the grounds that ants are an inherently collective species, and this designation would be redundant and downright unnecessary.

One ant is so upset by this verdict that it begins to cry, thereby forging a breach in the collective emotional unity of the group. This very breach, however, makes the officer falter, reconsider for a brief moment, entertaining the possibility of a radical change of heart, but this very possibility of a change in the officer’s heart makes the ant’s tears dry up, which lands them all back at their original, inherently collective state, and that’s the end of that story.

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