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Showing posts from 2009
Boxes and a Cat
Writing Carrier:
Moving Out from College Town

So, I am moving out again. This time though, I am moving completely out of South Bend. I knew that South Bend is a passing city and not my second home town even though I have lived here for six years. South Bend is the city of my college memories, thousands of broken hearts, and good friends. I learned how to write poetry in South Bend and I also learned how to fall in love with random men and even a particular one in South Bend. In addition, I spent a huge amount time by myself in a school housing attic.

I will miss my college life by the St. Joseph River. The life was not as crazy as my neighbors’—who were arrested by growing prohibited plants in their basement—but it was enjoyable. There was one time when a campus police officer came to my house because of my 21st birthday party. Without that, I had been a very quiet resident of South Bend.

I ran a total of thirteen roommates out of my old house. When I lived with a Russian pianis…
There are no Christmas decorations this winter,
so Aaron brought home Christmas flowers.
Writing Carrier:
Selling My Textbooks at Book Trader

I sold my textbooks at Book Trader on 1614 Mishawaka Ave and received $110.00. I have never sold textbooks before because I wanted to see my knowledge lining up on my bookshelves, but this moving out situation changed my mind. I never expected I could get so much money.

Book Trader (Your Alternative Bookstore)
Buy, Sell, Trade Any Textbook from Any College
1614 Mishawaka Ave.
South Bend, IN 56615

The buy-back price is obviously higher than the IU South Bend Barnes and Noble Bookstore. The IUSB bookstore did not accept several used Spanish textbooks, which are specially edited and published for IUSB students, but Book Trader accepted mine and paid me $12.00 for it.

Since this 2009 fall semester, the IU South Bend bookstore has been run by Barnes and Noble, and to that I would like to say “S$&%!” The bookstore is now exclusively about profit instead of providing excellent service for motivated students.

There were so many freshm…
Writing Carrier:
When has mundane ever been so desirable?

I am in the middle of my pre-mid-life crises. I turn twenty seven next year, but I seriously have no idea what I want to do outside of academia, outside of a cage of books. As a reference, my work experiences are at a book store in Japan, a college library in America, and teaching something, something, meaningless in domestic and foreign countries. Today was my official last day of being part of a university. I submitted my students’ grades this afternoon and said ‘farewell’ to fellow teachers.

I sound academic; however, I am not smart enough to achieve a doctorial degree. In other words: I could achieve a master degree because so many professors were generous enough to support a foreign bookish cheerleader. When I smiled, they gave me B. I wish that I could have nice boobs, then maybe… a B plus.

“Congratulations, you achieved a lot in academic years! I am proud of you” people told me while I taught at a college after …
Moving Out or just a dinning table on a regular day

Boxes and Christmas gifts
Writing Carrier

I am ridiculously stupid when it comes to job searching. Several days ago, I wrote that art and business should never become best friends—artists need to concentrate on whatever they are doing without pressure from their daytime jobs—and I was very clear about not wanting to work at an office.

However, I (stupidly) applied to an office position at one of the most powerful insurance companies in the world, and made the final interview. The company sounded fantastic in that they support health benefits for all their workers and their families; in addition, they provide private gyms and four weeks paid holiday. From their office in the 20th floor of their building, workers have a beautiful view of Lake Michigan.

I thought that it was a good idea to work for the company until I discovered mandatory night shifts in the last interview. They did not say anything about my need to work for two major Japanese insurance companies in the Japanese time zone; therefore, one out of…
"Call Me; I'm in a Tea Cup"
"Burning Piano"

"I love bubbles."

Snow spattering on your mouth;
it’s February and you birthed me.

Many ice petals dropped to the floor
and you lost your tranquility in 1983.

Hanged man, please grow
wild and luminous. Please kill my child.

How many times have you recited it
in twenty seven years?

When I burnt your grand piano? When I married
a foreigner who you’ve never met?

Blue needles cling to your sagged breasts
but you still remember the day

in a cold hospital. My father stroked
your back to lift your pain.

You know—
I am almost your age when you had me.

Gazing on mute green plants,
I wander from room to room and sit

by the window with my hand
extended. A cat softly

jumps onto my thighs;
the weight of its curled

body. The heart beating sound
a spring storm makes.
Writing Carrier

So I had a couple of job interviews in Boston and understood that companies were looking for creative, brilliant, cooperative (in a Japanese way), and extremely hard working graduates. My resume looks like one of their resumes— higher education, bilingual, and experiences in many countries— but then interviewers would ask, “Publications in poetry?”

They smiled at me and I asked myself, Do I really want to research, analyze, finance, and calculate and all the business works for ten years?

No, I do not want to do that, I answered. Then, I addressed my sitting audience, “Thank you for having an interview with me.”

Because of this economic situation, it was extremely difficult to get an interview appointment with companies, so I was lucky to meet interviewers altogether. But I was not the right person to work for those companies, even with copy writing or editing jobs.

Then my mother said, “You are not realistic in your life. Look at your sister. She is only twenty five…
I am visiting Boston for job interviews; however, my spirit is loitering at Harvard Book Store and Grolier Poetry Book shop. There are used books everywhere in Boston.

Inside of Grolier Poetry Book Shop
So far, I purchased these books.
Cat, bows from my bridal shower, and new camera from Kelli.
"At a Station" is accepted by Potomac Review.



I forgot my umbrella in a subway
because Kappa asked me for a cup of coffee.

Water boiled in a saucer on his head.
He crossed

his green legs and said,
tell me why you hate awaking—

I closed the bestiary and left the train.
On the ground, it’s

drizzling; drizzles of crystalline gravel,
blue gravel, a moonlit ejaculate. I want

water with ice;
ice from the North Pole. A polar bear kills

a seal on a sheet of ice. Its blood merges
blue into blue in the ocean. A blind

woman plays the harpsichord. A few
pence chime in a tin can. I was once

sixteen years old; nothing;
nothing but miraculous blue.
By Rin Ishigaki
Translated by Naoko Fujimoto

When I complain,
my father says,
“Please be patient;
I’ll leave soon;”
as if he is a disposable Post-It note.

His words are not consoling;
they are a threat; .....I tell him
and I become angry.

Last year, my grandfather died and
his remains stay on one tatami-mat,
so this small room looks enormous.

I cried and attended his funeral;
my family and his extended family said,
“You are relived from this burden.”
That is consolation for me and
that is their kindest farewell
to him who loved me more than anybody else.

One year later,
my paraplegic father and
sick stepmother sleep beside each other
“We’ll leave very soon. Be patient, please.”

This disconsolate memory
becomes the past, leaving my living father behind,
I cannot escape
from this memory.

*Ishigaki, Rin. Ishigaki Rin Shisyuu. Tokyo: Shicyousya, 1981.

石垣 りん 作


脅迫だ  と


Chicken Tomato Spaghetti

For two and half people (about 50 minutes (!) adding additional time for Aaron who rushed into Martin to get spaghetti noodles)

• Half jar of tomato sauce (13oz), so I can use the other half later meal with fish.
• 2 to 3 boneless chicken breast halves, skin removed
• 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
• 2 teaspoons dried leaf oregano, crushed
• Hot cooked spaghetti (which is the key ingredients for this meal)
• One large fresh tomato.
• A husband with a quick feet.
• 4 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
• Grated Parmesan cheese to taste

Brown the chicken in hot oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Combine chicken with tomato sauce, tomato paste, water, garlic, and oregano.Boil water for spaghetti. Aaron runs into a supermarket with a mission. 4. Cover and cook on LOW about 20 minutes and add cheese. 5. By the time spaghetti is ready, the sauce is ready, too!
This is a steaming hot pile of...noodle.
Japanese Style of Potato Croquettes

About 8 - 9 croquettes (About 40 minutes)

• 2LB redskin potatoes, either mashed or chopped
• 1 egg, lightly beaten
• 1/3 cup flour
• 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (Kikkoman, Panko) and more for cooking
• Seasonings of choice: chopped onion, chopped vegetable, fresh herbs, seasoning mix, etc. and add salt and pepper to taste.
Combine the vegetable, mashed potatoes, salt, and pepper, and mix well. If the cakes are not holding together, add breadcrumbs. If they are too dry, add beaten egg to bind. Beat an egg in a bowl, and then mix flour, salt, and pepper in another bowl.
Roll each ball in the flour mixture, the egg mixture, and also in the breadcrumb mixture to form croquettes.Heat the oil over medium-high. Dredge the roll in breadcrumbs. When the oil is shimmering, fry the roll until well browned, about 5 minutes per side.

You may serve with the dipping sauce on the side (hollandaise sauce, pesto, salsa, aioli, or other mayonnaise or dipping sauce to s…
It will be almost done.
Drawing at Quiet Friday Afternoon
I forwarded this email to my students and posted in this blog because I support Analecta.


My name is Mitch Robinson and I am the 2010 editor of Analecta, an annual, award-winning magazine at IU South Bend that accepts written and visual?, art submissions from the IU South Bend campus. We consider submissions from both graduate and undergraduate students from any majors.

There is an early submission deadline for special consideration on December 18, 2009 and a late submission deadline on January 18, 2010.

Analecta Submission Rules:

1. For special consideration, manuscripts must be e-mailed by Friday, December 18, 2009. ALL manuscripts must be e-mailed by Monday, January 18, 2010.

2. Manuscript preparation:
A. Word-processed manuscript, double spaced, 12 point font, and Times New Roman.
B. The author's name, student ID number, and e-mail address must appear on the first page ONLY of each manuscript.
C. Please use IUSB email address
D. Manuscripts MUST be submitted as an attachment…
The IUSB Creative Writing Program’s first fiction reading of the year is next Tuesday.

Darrin Doyle,
author of Revenge of the Teacher’s Pet: A Love Story
Tuesday, October 13 at 7:00 p.m.
Third-floor Bridge of Wiekamp
Light refreshments and book-signing to follow.
(Books will be for sale, and are currently available at IUSB’s book store.)
My first wild S'more
(I usually make them indoors.)
"JUNE INK" was accepted by Cider Press Review.

..........for my brave friend, n.a.

It would be easier if I did not exist—
On my twenty seventh birthday,

a French airplane
disappeared in the Atlantic Ocean and my mother

told of a miscarriage hidden
from me for twenty eight years.

Don’t leave our home—
Her tears dripped on the newspaper

and red table cloth.
Paragraphs and paragraphs of rain

blot out the facts that I wanted.
I smelled June ink instead.

How quiet the kitchen was.
It was dyed empty green like a milk

glass. A nursing bottle
drifted out to turbulent waves. A passenger

held a burnt baby. They see
shattered windows

falling from the sky
and know how to return to the earth.
Art Beat Poster at South Bend Chocolate Company Cafe

Art Beat Project Members sold posters and T-shirts.

IUSB Faculty and Alumni writers sold their books and chapbooks at ArtBeat in downtown South Bend. If you are interested in purchasing their books, you may click their names.

Nancy Botkin
David Dodd Lee
Clayton Michaels Kelcey Parker
Talia Reed
Aaron and a hairy potter pumpkin
I purchased an antique handmade ring.
Charmi told me that there is a huge ART BEAT poster on State Rd. 31 in South Bend IN. Aaron and I drove to Potato Creek, had sandwiches, and finally found it!
It is pretty big! However, I almost missed it because I was busy to talk about chocolate fudge that I received from a Japanese professor.

Poetry and fiction reading Key Bank Square, 11:30am to 12:00pm.

Signing on Posters 12:00pm to 1:00pm, DTSB Main Office.
...and1:00pm to 2:00pm, a branch office.
IUSB Faculty and Alumni writers (David Dodd Lee, Nancy Botkin, Talia Reed, Kelcey Parker, and Clayton Michaels) will sell books and chapbooks at ArtBeat this Saturday, 9/26 in downtown South Bend. They will give short readings between 11:30-12:00 at the Key Bank Plaza, and their booth will be nearby. Look for the Literary Arts Collective.
My cat with an upside down Japanese textbook. I start my new poetry project. I AM writing between those classes, but teaching comes first because it is my only paid job (and of course I like my students)...(of course, of course)


No.1 (Hold, thank you)
No.2 (sold out, thank you!)
No. 3 (Sold Out, thank you!)
No. 5 (Sold Out, Thank you!)

If you are interested in purchasing my art, please contact me at I would love to discuss prices!
If you (and your friends etc) are looking for a wedding dress slip size 4, you may visit...
My black cat was watching my dead bonsai tree and thought,

"Oh, Bonsai,
How you are dry
Like my my food."

................--O-Yuki the black cat
My thesis project was accepted yesterday and Aaron congratulated me with my new favorite yellow flower.
Announcing a new national poetry prize to be based at Indiana University South Bend:2010 Lester M. Wolfson Poetry Award
Deadline March 1, 2010.Judge: David Dodd Lee, Series Editor

The Lester R. Wolfson Poetry Award is being created in an effort to bring fresh and original voices to the poetry reading public. The prize will be offered annually to any poet writing in English, including poets who have never published a full length book as well as poets who have published several. New and Selected collections of poems are also welcome. The winning poet will receive $1,000 and publication of his or her book. The winner will also be invited to give a reading at Indiana University South Bend as part of the release of the book. Finalists, other than the prize-winning manuscript, will be considered for publication. The final selection will be made by the Series Editor. Current or former students or employees of Indiana
University South Bend, as well as friends of the Series Editor, are not eligi…
"White Avenue" and "Shigeru" are accepted by Epiphany / a Literary journal.


I slough off your blanket; your pubic hair: my lost
long hair; my toe dampens in a muddled snow rut;
snow: soundless snowflake, falls; I wear mourning:
the snow white mourning; a cloud flows in vacancy:
the vacant moon: no headlights; I carry my lithograph;
the plastic lithograph glued with a half eaten rotten
tomato; I die; no spring clod; no green stars:
his green eyes; sleet hisses on my skin when the first
acid rain: oval mauve acid, falls on my nape; a nameless
tree: the smallest vermeil bud opens; I’m a marionette; his
wrist: his artery: the warmest artery of his forefinger;
my thigh; his pulse: it is spring; the warmest spring;
footprints of deer are on the snow rut; I’m naked; the naked
heart: rotten tomatoes under the white blanket.


My grandfather received
his name on February 9, 1919. When he died,
he lost his name on the whitest
sheets in a nook of the hospital

Downtown South Bend News

July 8, 2009 — SOUTHBEND, IN – Downtown South Bend, Inc. (DTSB) and the Art Beat steering committee are pleased to announce the winner of the annual Art Beat Commemorative Print Contest. This year’s winning artist, Naoko Fujimoto, is a Japanese poet and fine artist living in South Bend. The artwork titled, Wedding Treasure Hunting at Art Beat, is a colorful pastel pencil and mixed material piece reflecting Fujimoto’s Japanese upbringing and culture. Fujimoto commented on the thoughts behind creating Wedding Treasure Hunting at Art Beat. “This piece expresses the desire of a bride who realizes her wedding is the day after Art Beat! She is always a last minute person and is still missing many items needed for the wedding. The bride’s artistic friends, who make fabulous customized dresses, hats, accessories, party favors, stained glass candle holders and other beautiful things, are showcasing their works at Art Beat. This work of art gleefully depicts the bride ru…
This is not a Wedding Dress.
Writing Carrier

Becoming an American is expensive, painful, and sadly not exciting! I have already spent at least two thousand dollars to apply for permanent residency and working status, and my bank account is lighter than my cat’s hair. All my savings are gone. The savings for my wedding ceremony is gone. I have never experienced this insecure feeling of lacking finances. My death metal guy has two jobs to support me (with college) and we do not have enough time to spend even though we are a newly married couple. My working visa has not arrived yet so I stay at home looking at bills and bills and pretend to be a housewife. Well, I will eventually overcome this situation and earn money again, so I need to stop whining.

Let me whine just one more time. When I realized that I am actually one of thousands of immigrants here, my brain recalls a black and white movie about Elise Island I had seen on the History Channel. Hundreds of people lined up in the immigration office and received phys…
Writing Carrier

Yes, I did not clearly answer the previous questions like: “How do you learn writing in the second language?” in the last blog post.

If readers are looking for particular answers on those questions, they should read books about how to write. There are tons of great textbooks. My writing professors used “The Poet’s Companion” by Kim Addonizio, “Your Life as Story” by Triatine Rainer, “Proofs & Theories” by Louise Gluck, “The Triggering Town” by Richard Hugo, etc… But I cannot guarantee that those textbooks are useful for each writing goal. If the readers can afford taking college classes with those professors, it may be a good idea for them to develop their own writing processes. In addition, if the readers truly want to understand how I learned writing in a second language, they may try to write some short stories or poems in their familiar second languages— French, Spanish, and German— those experiences may open their new ability to be creative.

To the truth those t…
Seeking Analecta Editor
When the new semester begins, the Publications Board will be accepting applications for the position of Editor of our student literary journal, Analecta. Applicants will be interviewed by the board. This is a paid position–a $600 stipend.Duties include: advertising for submissions, reading and deciding on work (poems, stories, nonfiction, artwork) to be included in the issue, finding and working with an artist on the cover and design, creating a file of the final issue to send to the publisher, working with the publisher to make sure the journal is available in April, etc.MORE INFORMATION AND A FORMAL CALL FOR APPLICANTS WILL BE AVAILABLE WHEN SCHOOL STARTS.
Writing Carrier

I received a couple of emails that asked, “How do you learn writing in a second language?” “How do you study writing?” and “Why do you write in English?”

As most of my blog readers already know, I am native Japanese. I prefer reading, writing, and speaking in Japanese. I am funnier and smarter when I am using Japanese instead of English, which I secretly believe in front of a mirror of a public bathroom saying, “I love being Japanese;” however, there is no evidence to prove how well I am representing the nationality through my own intelligence.

Of course I like using my native language more than using English because I can keep a tempo when speaking. I mean that I do not have to worry about using correct pronunciations, grammars, phrases, and punctuations because my first language is undoubtedly more natural to me. Even though most Japanese children start studying English in their elementary schools and my mother spent decent amounts of money (she might be able to enjoy d…