"What's the world for you if you can't make it up the way you want."

-Jazz, Toni Morrison


YANAGAWA
yanagawa-01.png

REVEAL TRANSCRIPT

From the writer: "The text reads with a Japanese script direction: top right corner from top to bottom, right to left across the page. This piece is actually a fusion of Chinese and Japanese elements. The 1000-character essay was a traditional essay exam format in ancient China. I wanted a 1000-character piece with capital romanized letters, but with a Japanese script direction. Yanagawa himself was a beloved workmate of mine back in Japan in the 1980s."

From the beginning it was Yanagawa who understood me. It was Yanagawa alone who saw methods in my madnesses. It was Yanagawa who discovered I was not just tapping my fingers on my desk but composing strings of accented triplets and flamtapped ratamacues. It was Yanagawa who noticed my fingers were little dancing acolytes of Zakir Hussain. It was Yanagawa who understood when I said that for me a book was a single line of words without spaces or interruption stretching across an uncurved horizon, a tickertape transcript of a brain in code. It was Yanagawa who realized I worshipped only at the temple of words. It was Yanagawa who saw me as I was. It was Yanagawa who saw me. It was Yanagawa. It was Yanagawa who shook his head when a huge package was delivered to me at our Yodoyabashi office and I opened it and it was the biggest book he had ever seen, Fujiwara’s Atlas of the Dialects of the Inland Sea. It was then that Yanagawa proclaimed me the minotaur of my own patterned infinitudes. And it was Yanagawa who said I would mount Fuji in my own way, standing godlike and alone on the roof of the world, a cataract of clouds pouring over my shoulders and tumbling down the sacred slopes towards the Musashi Plain and the Sagami Sea.


Mark Crimmins’ fiction was nominated for a 2015 Pushcart Prize, a 2015 Best of the Net Award, and a 2015 Silver Pen Authors Association Write Well Award. His short stories have been published in Confrontation, Cha, Split Rock Review, and many others. His experimental story, “Yanagawa,” first appeared in theNewerYork/The Electric Encyclopedia of Experimental Literature.

Cover photo by Nicolas Thomas on Unsplash

Startzmann's

Startzmann's

Life Drawing

Life Drawing

0