“Against its will, energy is doing something productive, like the devil in medieval history. The principle is that nature does something against its own will and, by self-entanglement, produces beauty.” Otto Rössler
gave birth to rocks, trees, rivers, mountains, grass
and last, a blazing child
so burned she died.
In the land of darkness
a mass of pollution.
Ah wash her clear stream
—skinny little girl with big ears
we have passed through
passed through, flesh out of flesh.
“Shining Heavens,” Goddess of the Sun,
her brother flung
mud and shit and a half-skinned pony through
so she entered a cave—shut it up with a rock—
made the world dark.
Ame-no-uzume, “Outrageous Heavenly Woman,” wrapped
the numinous club-moss of Mr. Kagu round her hips, made
a headband from the leaves of nishikigi, bound bamboo
grass for her wristlets, and put a sounding-board down
before the cave where the Sun Goddess stayed.
She danced and she stamped til it echoed around, she
danced like a goddess possessed, pulled out her nipples,
pushed her sash down til she showed herself down below,
and the Plain of High Heaven shook with the laughs and
the cheers and the whistles of thousands of gods who were
gathered to watch.
The whole river. Clear back to each creeklet
all one basin drawing in the threads
pacing down dry riverbeds the dance,
mai, stomping, stepping on the gravelly bar
step, stop, stamp of the foot. Glide and turn,
breathing icy bliss
diamond-glittered bitty snowcreek
eating the inorganic granite down.
Trees once cooled the air, and clouds, ah, ghost of
springs gone dry. Hills of Yugoslavia clearcut
for the Roman fleet
—don’t think all that topsoil’s gone
it only waits.
—slept on river sidebars
drank from muddy streams
grains cooked in rock-flour glacier water,
—dirt left on boulders
for a sandy heap of years,
and creeks meander just because they swing.
Stamp of the masked dancer
pacing tangled channels
putting salt and gold dust in the sea.
Ame-no-uzume-no-mikoto bound up her sleeves with
a cord of heavenly hi-kage vine, tied around her head a
head-band of the heavenly ma-saki vine, bound to-
gether bundles of sasa leaves to hold in her hands, and
overturning a bucket before the heavenly rock-cave
door, stamped resoundingly upon it. Then she became
divinely possessed, exposed her breasts, and pushed
her skirt-band down to her genitals.
Laughter roared like thunder
through the plains of heaven
and the hidden
Goddess of the Sun,
peeked out round the rock.
All the little faces of the gods gleamed
white in the light!
Around her head: nishikigi leaves masaki vines
In her hands: sasa
As wristlets: bamboo grass
sleeves tied w/: hi-kage vine
around her hips: club moss
Ame no uzume.
What did she wear?
What leaves in her hair?
How far did she push her skirt down?