Evening Will Come: A Monthly Journal of Poetics (Hiroshima-Nagasaki Feature—Issue 56, August 2015)

Kenji C. Liu
Anatomy of a ゴジラ(Gojira)

FIGURE 1. An animal that destroys without malice

What animal and where. Has an origin story. A flag, a postage stamp.

The history of teeth.
What country doesn’t have teeth?

This is the animal age. We scab each other with knowledge. No nature, only information and formations.

A bomb, an animal. Wings in inappropriate places, lungs like islands. Luminescent iris of the sea.

Stepping, flying. A blur of fight. A chest of open. Small insects, emergent, unfolded from quartz. Vibrating sheen of flutter.

No security. A flower is a force that can crack you in half. Awake.

FIGURE 2. Malicious monster composed of the restless souls of WWII dead

The republic of safety is composed of quiet fractures.

Spectral flights among the neutrons, swooning magnetic. Sono hanashi.

Swing low, compose the grid with fire. Unelectric the night.

A living thing,

a new species of being,

born right before our incredulous eyes…

creamy white outside,

rose-colored inside.

The minister of defense is smoking a cigar with his one red eye. Shiny animals litter behind, push him in a wheelbarrow.

Where is the burial? I climb in with your claws, stain the feral craters. We are on the forest’s edge and below the event. Between the atoms of one country and another, a market where we exchange phantom histories.

The capitol’s intestine, purple and moist moss between the folds.

Which small part of me will you break first.

FIGURE 3. Savior of the Earth

Without a country, above, outside. Unrecognizable, unmeasurable. Half-life, quarter-life, dividing again and again.

Giant squid spilling from the horizon, pulling itself up into a hole in space. Flaming veins of gamboge, lemon, and orange.

What is the word for unwilling disinterment?

Mouth a reactor, the republic of tongue comes to taste. Glowing cantaloupe seeds.

Fuse lit, a radioactive whale arrives from the future. Jabs at the air with tender vapors. Then the plunge.

Only destruction can save us now. What, do you expect me to understand monster talk?

FIGURE 4. Sutsumeshon / setsumei

A slow motion bomb, slipping over the gridded earth. To glide like a hollow elephant. A clock tower topples in the jungle.

Weaponized rubber suit.

[zapping] + [explosion booming] + [flames roaring] + [all shouting indistinctly] + [heavy crashing]

Land shakes and sweats, slides through the wires, glances left, ponders right. Steps in and out of the giant, lights the dorsal stem. Becomes and unbecomes an explanation for monsters.

FIGURE 5. The barrels of uranium were immediately taken to a military depot in New Jersey.

Where is, where is a thousand two hundred fifty tons.

Where is the loose cake, the chip off the chip.

Where is the molecule, the traceable blood.

All neighbors enriched. In the hair sample, a set of informally distributed graves.

The republic would like your cooperation in this matter.

Camp Kilmer. Where is two point six miles as the water flows. I think that I shall never see. Cold war soiled with numerous neighborhoods. A hard flower in the ovary. No, the ground is innocent. It carries without intent.

FIGURE 6. Seen from above, the grid is beautiful and terrible.

Until the neighborhood. A blur of flight, a blur of.

A giant body in the heavens, interrogating clouds. Harvesting addresses.

Somewhere pens are signing documents. Each neighbor at exactly fifteen feet. Arranged precisely. The fists we cannot hear.

Is there a way forward outside law? How ordinances assemble houses for the inhuman. That grid came from god. We are foreign to each other.

The grid as a form of life, as a form for life. The position, becoming locatable within the overview.

The minister would like to determine your potential for production.

Inside the emergency, a cellular forgiveness and improvement, according to the rule. Between the rules, the coils of a serpent.

FIGURE 7. Time to duck ’n cover, the bombs are comin’ down. … Cuz all the kids who don’t, will cease to be around.

Look for the black and yellow flower. Bury under it.

Always aware of the inbound sky, its magnetic threat. Abstractions for the national cause.

Every weapon an anthem. Under the metal desk, the remains of the chewing.

The basement of this war is. Why would I follow you into the up? We might no longer be there. Mad as we are, split into modern bodies. So many gradations.

When naming your baby Atomic Bomb, it’s important to consider the gender of the name itself.

FIGURE 8. …perform [Noh] wearing a mask that actually survived the atomic bombing of Nagasaki…

The robotics of our faces, wide of body and whistling on the way down

Lamb skin stretched over a frame until its starry sky opens

Nagasaki looks up and sees a flag in the shape of black

We are dead stars looking up at the sky

The drama of plutonium is that it vibrates too much

If I wear this will I see them will I return

It was in the basement, and survived

Contaminated by a small sun puncturing each orifice

That light is not holy but it comes from within

An explosion that wants to reunite with the father

FIGURE 9. … a new decree from the Tokyo ward of Shinjuku making Godzilla an official resident of Japan.

When rewarded, modulate and sink. We are all unnatural.

To be foreign but not beyond category. Extraction of kaiju labor power.

The slick silence before ensconcing, before placement. To be read, to trigger a series of emplacements, interventions. Enumerations, measurements. One over one hundred millionth (atom), flowering into five hundred and eighty (bomb).

Perhaps above. Perhaps above. Perhaps shoved into, out of. In the passport: triggers, affirmations, clinical declarations. Moving forward, the sponsor’s brief smile containing a city of teeth.

A live dissection.

It is without shame that the eye blinks, yellow and unguarded. Drape a sash, line the mouth with bright, bright red.

NOTE: This poem contains fragments from Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla, Joyce Kilmer, D.J. Waldie’s Holy Land, Tom Zoellner’s Uranium, Dr. Michelle Thaller, and various news articles.