by Matsuo Basho, translated by Porky Pig as told to Paul Fericano

Into the quiet of the anci-ancie-ancie—the very old pond
the small f-f-fro, f-f-fro-fro—er, the toad leaps.
The water sound is b-b-beau-b-b-beau-beau—oh, never mind.

IMAGE: Michigan J. Frog & Porky Pig Animation Production Cel, available at

ABOUT THE TRANSLATOR: Porky Pig was introduced in the short animated film I Haven’t Got a Hat (first released on March 9, 1935). Known for his stutter, he appeared in 153 Warner Brothers cartoons during the Golden Age of American animation.

ABOUT THE AS TOLD TO AUTHOR: Paul Fericano was a finalist in the Alfred Jarry Foundation’s 2013 Cy Schindell Imaginary Book Prize competition for his notion of a manuscript based on an idea inspired by a Jorie Graham acceptance speech. He was a semifinalist for the 2012 Casaba Melon Poetry Award and has been nominated 56 consecutive times for a Pushcart Prize, tying Joe DiMaggio’s major league record. In 1982, he became the first American poet to enter and leave the U.S. Witness Protection Program.