March 2015 Words + Art Reading + Poem

exhibit | shotgun
artist | atelier bow-wow + jesus vassallo + students

This poem, “SEIZA”, may appear very simple – even childlike – on the surface, but it is in fact highly significant, dense and layered. It was inspired by the wonderful book by Ruth Ozeki, A Tale for the Time Being. Combining the fact that the story takes place mostly in Japan and the nature of the ‘Shotgun’ art exhibit centering around the airy and spare effect created by showing the raw framework structures of built objects, the poem is crafted as a series of 5 illustrated haiku or 1 complete hokku. Navigating the poem starts at the top left and proceeds clockwise: the first haiku represents the story and energy of the exhibit as located in Houston; the second represents the story and energy of Nao, a main teenaged character in Ozeki’s story; the third represents the story and energy of the narrator, located in British Columbia, Canada; the fourth represents the story and energy of Nao’s grandmother, a very aged feminist-turned-monk in Japan; and the fifth represents the experience and energy of the reader-poet’s reading the story in the depths of a very cold Adirondack Mountains winter. The word, ‘seiza’, is Japanese. It can be translated as “an upright kneeling position that is traditionally used in Japan in meditation and as part of the preparation in martial arts.” The poem’s illustrations were done by the poet,

POEM | SEIZA (mar 2015)

Our Debut Voicing Art Book

Voicing Art: Poetry of Space | Place | Time
is now available!

Poetry inspired by works of art, the art of nature and the exploration of beauty, perception and insight through the cartography of the unseen.


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