for Mioko Watanabe
Basho was a ninja, Mioko says.
Basho an assassin? Ninjas were more
like spies. They worked for samurai.
It would explain his travels:
he moved impossibly fast. But he seems
so frail— What better mask for a spy?
Christopher Marlowe was probably
a secret double agent,
knifed through the eye, at twenty-nine
& Basho did say that writing haiku
should be like cutting a ripe melon
with a sharp sword.
Rimbaud became a ninja, & dropped
symbolism to run guns in Ethiopia.
Dickinson, the kunoichi (or female
ninja) of Amherst, snuck behind lines
in her father’s house at night,
disguised as an old maid—
She dealt her pretty words like blades.
Moving by stealth, an arcane
agency slips through this world,
observing hidden things, belonging
nowhere, obsessively perfecting
cryptic messages for—we know not whom.
Their opponent never knows
of their existence. Their legendary powers
are charms & incantations,
magic spells & flight.
They can walk on water
in their mizugumo, or water-spider shoes.
Art Source: <a href="Ray’s Web