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The spider is genius. The celerity which moves — leading the air mass — the atmosphere level that falls higher than the clouds connecting the seasons. The spider is genius. The brilliance descending omnidirectionally is not a gravity-evading parachute, but striates the entire sky, guiding drops of light towards the ground. And it just lowers itself down along the way. How can there be such transparent bones — bones that flood over, even as they break. And plus he is a seed. With endurance and imagination as nourishment, the scheme is rather null. Sorcery is rather null. A light-handed evil which admits no glory, not even your own. The spider is simply genius.

Takashi Hiraide was born in Moji, Kitakyushu-shi in 1950. He has published numerous books of poetry as well as several books of genre-bending essays, including one on poetics and baseball. He is a prof. of Art Science and Poetics at Tama Art University. This poem is from For the Fighting Spirit of the Walnut and is translated by Sawako Nakayasu.

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Martin Rock is a poet, editor, and web-designer living in Houston. He is the author of the chapbook Dear Mark (Brooklyn Arts Press) and co-author of the chapbook Fish, You Bird (Pilot). His poems have appeared widely in journals such as Black Warrior Review, DIAGRAM, Conduit, & Best New Poets 2012. He holds an MFA from NYU and is a PhD candidate in literature and creative writing at University of Houston. His website is and his design portfolio can be found at

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