Ryo Yamaguchi

Letter While You Are Still Sleeping

Was interference, discussion as scoria little help thank
you, was a green twisted sourness of a talk that night with the blankness of the city

                                                                       all of everything about coming here
and about what time it was and the thing of the how, a measure of rain or

coagulation, the luminance of culture or culture
as some interior viability with refraction lines angling from our bodies or just,

                                                                                           something good to eat, please,
a lessening of shuffle and murmur but likewise babblement, you know, you know,

quit with the pulling down of the face,
a quittance from boredom and the necessity of the raw edge of the next and

                                                                                           there in that vision a perimeter
like a hill or simply a fence and hands parallel to the sun;

the abstract is overstuffed; it aches
in reflux, I mean in full color and typography and the itty synecdochical anointments

                                                                                                               of portraiture, foliating,
the loudness of machines the loudness of the loud the loudness of any predicate

shot away from the hip
one thrown already into a kind of full knowledge that is like a protein seizing

                                                                                           around the throat; backwardly
I have slept, just now, just this night before, in a tangle of deflation

and tepidity and a kind of faded
purple light the fabric of sleep pilled where the dream dutifully rotated, and

                                                                                                               in rows like those of cars
the substance between us organized itself, gave occasion to this addressing,

with which I call to you
so afraid, I am so afraid, that we will walk into the electrified field and find it





No sense in this force not seen or seen through all, the way
we are, garlands of muscle in the work, black

outfit, how to stay still, how and then what if the capturing
swayed over the finalness, the low ground? By

the river the falcon. The churning nothing sky. The falcon’s
sagittate heart. Get richer confused and thread an hour

by prop or band talking big vowels sending out,
delicacy miniature the forest below one high

craft oculus, so and so, thinking back on it, saying it’s been
done no matter the anymore. Billings. Grand Junction.

O but I want to call into the material and hear the name.
A way forward? A forwardness? The real? To say

thrown against to say dashed, way against. Fixity in the collision.
That’s it. Wake up under water in outer space and believe

you hear its acoustic yes you hear it, it’s plain, right there,
it’s right inside of your coil and it’s fastening this is

the dilemma. Don’t and can’t. Build a society. Stay low.
Stay unseen.



Ryo Yamaguchi is the author of The Refusal of Suitors, published by Noemi Press. His poetry has appeared in journals such as Denver Quarterly, Gulf Coast, and Bennington Review, and his book reviews and other critical writings can be found in outlets such as the Boston Review and Michigan Quarterly Review. He lives in Seattle where he works at Wave Books. Please visit him at plotsandoaths.com.