Wednesday, June 28, 2017


One pale spring day in 1760
Kutsukawa Shunsho decided to paint
A group portrait of the poetess Ono No Komachi.
Coaxed and persuaded, versions of her
Left, for a while, the ninth century
To pose with props in his studio. Afterwards,
The old dancer fell asleep, her head
On the lap of the girl who brought rain.
Komachi the courtier and Komachi the beggarwoman
Wandered about
Edo, telling outrageous lies
And winking at every man they passed.

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