Swimming in the Presence of Lurid Opposition

Sawako Nakayasu

Summer camp, swim class, Tokyo, a group of no more than twenty ants all donning their respective swimming caps, some with images of their favorite anime characters printed on the fabric. Forward progression, assisted by a rhythmic movement of ant limbs, just like the instructor instructed, forward forward progress, forward forward progress. The slowness, agonizing slowness of such, such poor swimmers these ants, most likely in the beginner class for sad ants with little ability. And then the However, the Big But, the Truth that reveals itself only after zooming out and away from what used to be a close-up shot of ants in an unusually colored swimming pool, such as red or green or pale fuchsia or celadon, the distance revealing the inherent difficulty of making a swimming pool out of a still-wet oil painting, the artist and brush hovering nearby like the evil clouds that they are.

Copyright © 2010 by Sawako Nakayasu. Used with permission of the author.

Copyright © 2010 by Sawako Nakayasu. Used with permission of the author.

Sawako Nakayasu

by this poet

poem

Every time, these days, it seems, an equation gets forced. Forged:

                  far cry
                  ______

                  low rise


                                and every morning sticks, figure A, for alas, stick figures, it
figures that we awaken in