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English | Video

The Tulip's Ear
isn’t it out of season      someone might say      but
just as I read

for a tulip to drop      one petal      Van Gogh’s ear      Akito Arima

I ended up flying to Amsterdam in November
there is              a man like Van Gogh’s ear there
the frozen winter is sad
“eh!       you are a little boy who came from Rotterdam so
you must be able to walk on a piece of broken ice
this is an order            walk!”          he was forced to
walk on the thin ice that covered the river like stepping-stones
by the boss of the kids of the remote country where he had been evacuated
this chubby little boy with not-so-good kinetic nerves
totters                 and hops
to the thin ice in front of him            like a flattened-out Van Gogh ear
just before he falls
he cannot go back          anymore       scared               if he falls
he will die          there is no other way but to hop forward
now       the man who will be 70 says        “it’s still the same
I jump forward              I am doing the same thing as at that time”

that one tulip petal was
a piece of thin giant ice
to the man with the ear of a poet