Spectacle & Pigsty, Selected Poems of Kiwao Nomura translated by Kyoko Yoshida & Forrest Gander, Omnidawn Publishers
Nomura’s work is iconoclastic—at once playful and heady, saturated by his interest in philosophy, Japanese shamanism, music and art. A poem ostensibly about a pigsty and Oedipal fixation incorporates references to Nietzsche and French philosopher Emmanuel Levinas in such a way as to suggest the pigsty as a metaphor for self and poem. (Nomura’s insistent syntactical conjunction of “pigsty” and “I” underscores this metaphor). Throughout his work, Nomura overlays the visible world of criss-crossing streets with the microscopic world of “nerve ants,” refusing to acknowledge any fundamental difference between cosmic and molecular, far and near, moment and whole, instant and eternity. His poetics, as such, run current with the writings of philosopher Gilles Deleuze, whose books (on cinema and on Nietzsche, in particular) stress the importance of intuition and insight as a means for disrupting our creatural habits. Both Deleuze and Nomura envision reality as ceaseless movement and invention.