Ken’ichi Sasō was born in Yokohama, Japan in 1968 and is the author of eight books of poetry. “Suspense” appears in his 2008 collection, The Planet of Hearts (Shinzō no hoshi). English translations of his poetry by Noriko Hara and Joe DeLong have also appeared in Forklift, Ohio.
It doesn’t matter what they call it. The first image was of something like squid in a cloudy aquarium, ink swirling, a sinking, murky poison. But the brain is nothing like a fish tank; I know this. It is made up of wrinkles, rolled tight like new pantyhose. Layered like an onion’s pearly sheath; pink […]
My son wants weight lifting gloves. He is sixteen. He is taut muscle stretched across six feet and one and one half inch of wiry, lithe frame. He is a smear of blue and white against the night, his feet barely touching the football turf. He is sweat flung wild on the basketball court. He […]
I know it is broken as soon as I fall. I know because when I stand there is a lump right away. It is round and heavy like a new laid egg. I remember reading somewhere that that is what happens when you break a bone. The pain is clear. Not complicated like the pain […]
He dies 10.30 their time, 4.30 mine. My cousin calls first with a repeated “I’m so sorry,” the word sorrysorrysorrysorry the only sense she can give me. Herself. As I listen, a freight train blows its mournful horn down in the valley. A bit of blues poetry to soften the onrushing facts: There are few […]
When I was nine a neighbor boy said something about my grandmother, an Issei who spoke only a word or two of English. When I think of it maybe the boy hadn’t meant to be rude, just curious. “Why does she look like that?” But he made a kind of face as though smelling something […]