In considering the collected poems of Nanao Sakaki, one has to deal with a problem: his life. That life, by all accounts a marvelous adventure, threatens even now, more than four years after the adventure's end, to overshadow his work.

HOW TO LIVE ON THE PLANET EARTH, by Nanao Sakaki. Blackberry Books, 2013, 304 pp., $16.95 (paperback)

A Google search brings up as many memories of Nanao — and it's always "Nanao," never "Sakaki"—as it does reflections on the poetry.