This is the 21st poem in Kyo’s second book of poetry, Zenryaku. In the manga, the title of the poem is written on the chalkboard. The word the girl on the desk has been forced to write is “zenryaku,” the first part of the title of the book. I know, this is really, really long. It also took me a long time to type out and translate. The picture is vertical because of how much smaller it makes it when you turn it horizontal. If you want to see it horizontal, save it to your hard drive and flip it. My translator’s notes are longer than the actual poem, and for good reason. If you’re not interested in what I had to say about the poem, skip the italics and head to the bottom of the page.
朗読は苦手ではないほうなのですが父親の教育の性もありまして THE STALIN の『電動コケシ』が大嫌いなようで大好きなようなのでは初めて聞いてみたところ、とってもイッテしまったかもしれない事実に感謝感謝アメ雑炊はとっても甘く嫉妬深い君の愛を忘れる事は二度と無いと心に誓ったのは17才の夏のカブト虫の頭がポロリと落ちた木曜日の休日でした
Romaji: I didn’t actually type the romaji for this poem. It would be way too long and take too long. If anyone wants, let me know, and I can send you a copy of the Japanese with furigana.
English: Note: I feel like I need to provide some guidance here. As I have said, I do not feel qualified to interpret Kyo’s language, as I am not a native Japanese speaker and do not know him personally. It’s just that the English translations in the book are so bad and I want people who can’t read Japanese to be able to read Kyo’s poetry, so I’ve been cleaning them up a little. That being said, this poem sounds so odd even cleaned up from the original, unintelligible English that I want to provide a little guidance. The only actual interpretation I am making is the title’s meaning. Everything else is just cultural references without which the poem is difficult to understand.
It is a stream of consciousness-style poem. Not familiar with the term? It is a literary style in which one’s thoughts and feelings are depicted in a continuous and uninterrupted flow; therefore, the lack of punctuation and all the run-on sentences are deliberate. There is not a channel called Nationali Terebi in Japan. Japanese has borrowed the English word “nationality,” and by taking the “ti” sound off the end of the word and putting it on the beginning of terebi, the Japanese word for TV, Kyo creates the idea that the narrator, a young man discovering his sexuality, is being raised by the TV so much that his sexual identity is linked to things he has seen on it. (Read it in English, it works the same: NationaliTV.)
I’m not sure who Miyako is. She could be the narrator’s sister, or she could be the feminine side of the narrator himself (note: one of the possible pronunciations of 京 is Miyako. Another note: the kanji in Miyako, when reversed, read “shikyuu,” or womb. I don’t know it either of these observations is relevant).
In the first paragraph, when the narrator is talking about smiling at his smiling reflection, the “to smile” verb can also be translated as “to be effeminate.” Relevant? I don’t know.
In the second paragraph, The Stalin was a Japanese punk rock band from the 1980’s. They had a song called “Dendou kokeshi” or “electric dildo.” Kokeshi is not the word for dildo in Japanese, it’s a slang term. A kokeshi is an armless wooden doll.
Also in the second paragraph: Japanese children, especially little boys, enthusiastically collect rhinoceros beetles during the summer. The head falling off the beetle is probably a reference to leaving childhood behind, and the noise of it falling off, “porori,” can also be the sound of tears falling.
In the third paragraph: Showa is the name of the era that occurred while Hirohito was Emperor. It was a long era, from December 1926 to January 1989. The grains of rice look as though they are from the early Showa period, so they probably do look pretty dirty.
Also in the third paragraph: The word I have translated as “great knowledge” is written not in kanji, as it normally would be, but in katakana, giving special emphasis to it. It is used here in a sexual manner that is made apparent by the emphasis (i.e., I showed the hot librarian my huge book *wink wink*).
In the fourth paragraph, the narrator expresses his frustration with not being taught what he wants to learn by either the TV (which is telling him about a rumor regarding foreign cigars) or school (whose textbooks don’t have sexual education). So he masturbates and he cries, hearing Miyako either through the Japanese-style wall if she’s his sister or from inside if she’s his feminine side. Then, on the 12-inch (what else could that refer to? lol) cathode ray tube television (which is an old TV, this is probably taking place in the early 80’s), he sees a woman’s uncensored genitals. This is a guess, but I think maybe it is Kazuko Yokuyushi, an actress who appeared naked in the 1978 film “In the realm of passion,” a film by director Nagisa Ooshima. She was in her fifties in that film, so would have seemed to be mother-aged, so maybe that is why the anatomical model from the first paragraph has the word “mother” engraved on it.
Anatomical model of the human body 12-inch Nationali TV
Embracing a model of the human body wrapped in newspaper bearing mother’s name while breathing feeling alive while eating my little brother smiling at my smiling reflection in the mirror today these days day to day moving on from the other side of the sliding paper door Miyako’s voice could be heard crying I may have felt that voice very painfully while tasting the school lunch curry on a roll seems to be becoming a daily routine
I am not bad at reading out loud but because of how my father raised me I seem to hate but maybe love The Stalin’s “Electric Dildo” I started to listen, so thankful for the fact that I came so hard candy and rice porridge were very sweet I promised to never forget your deeply jealous love on Thursday which was a holiday that summer of my 17th year, the day the beetle’s head fell off with a plop
One morning at the supermarket a prostitute forced me to buy Miyako’s genitals at the register so I checked them out on the spot, whereupon rustle rustle maggots fell out looking like dirty grains of rice from the beginning of the Showa period, and as I realized it was defective merchandise, I made use of my great knowledge on the prostitute using my great knowledge
Cigars ordered from overseas contain a queer’s semen I found out yesterday evening I was angry that how to make a baby was not written in young people’s textbooks, I shed a lot of semen and a few tears because lying horizontally Miyako was masturbating when on the 12-inch CRT screen I saw Kazuko’s uncensored genitals broadcast on Nationali TV