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Showing posts from 2010

My grandfather hides in a closet.
“I’m not afraid of dying in this war,”
he screams. Bullets

blotted out the sky
in 1945. Flower printed
futon-mattresses caught fire. Ash

stuck in my grandfather’s eyes. Like rotten
fruit, only the skin held a human
shape. His shoes were scorched.

Alzheimer doesn’t destroy war memories.

“Do you want to eat a tangerine?” I asked.
He crouches in the closet,
stroking his dried toes. I sit next to him. Cicadas

recite Buddhist sutra in silence. I trace
the tangerine’ peel and think of your
smooth body. My nails

pierce skin. Juice rolls
down between my fingers.
I lick

their tips next to the shaking old man.

I tune the radio.
Rakhmaninov’s piano phrases
vibrate crisp
apples on a window sill. I smell

burning ginkgo leaves. My mother said,
“Your father will die soon,” then she

glances through a children’s book.
After my father had brain
surgery, he forgot how to read. On the page,
he traces the word hippopotamus with his finger.

.....When the hippopotamus
.....jumped, her buttocks made a big hole.
.....“Little by little,” she said.
.....Little by little, she finds a way to be a ballerina.

After twenty seven
minutes, hippopotamus is a new
word for my father again. His right
fingers are cold. His left fingers cannot move.

I want to pour
kerosene into the burning ginkgo leaves. I grab
more apples, hippopotamuses,
and the radio,.....and my father.

I inhale the ashes of scorched
plastic and skin. His hair catches fire. I hear
a sutra like Rakhmaninov’s piano

from an apartment. On the dinning
room table, there is a roasted
chicken. The windows are misted. A woman calls a boy’s name.
Orange Obi-Tie, 1988

My mother sliced Japanese burdock.
Cabbage soup simmered on the stove.

It was always raining in 1988
after my mother took her Kimono wearing classes.

I waited for my father in front of the bus stop.
With his umbrella, I played in puddles on the asphalt street.

“You don’t have to cook this much everyday,”
my father said drinking glasses of beer.

My mother showed him her new silk obi-tie.
It was bright orange under the dining room light.

My father had a cerebral hemorrhage.
His brain forgot everything after 1988.

Through his nostrils,
yogurt formula comes down in tubes and his body digests it.

His laundry bags are putrid and cumbersome.

While I recite to myself why he has to live,
my mother folds the obi-tie.

After her Kimono class, she eats soba-noodles
and visits my father with clean underwear.
By Rae Armantrout

Oh Princess,
you apple-core afloat

in coke
in a Styrofoam cup
on an end-table,

you dust, glass, book, crock, thorn, moon.

Oh Beauty who fell asleep
on your birthday.

we swipe at you.


How are we defining "dream?"

An exaggerated sense

of the relevance
of those details,

of "facts"
as presented?

A peculiar
reluctance to ask

presented by whom
and in what space?


By space we mean
the collapsible
White Sox Lost.
Photo by a.k.
By Rae Armantrout

I hear them talking

I know they're planning
to come in. They haven't

yet because they're waiting
for someone or something.

You might be amused by this.

(This focus on out and in.)

I'm looking for a
heart to heart,

a rhyme

between the blankness of my

and the blue emptiness

Why there is not a period in the last line?
July 4th, Navy Pier
Quickest tooth removal in Northern Illinois
Perfect food court for us...
Never thought I would feel sorry for a octopus before.

Photos by A.K. Random places.
"AS OF LATE" is accepted byHOTEL AMERIKA.

..........for my friend, n.k.
.....Some of the work confronting us
.....will not be completed during my presidency...

I told you during the speech,
I am five days late.

.....Some, like the elimination of nuclear weapons,
.....may not be completed in my lifetime…

I can no longer remember that I wanted to bear a child.

My grandfather met a pregnant woman, summer 1945.

She held an empty bottle and a little red kimono
.....and she sat down by the gray wall.

He gave her water

.....and kept walking to the hill near Hiroshima
.....and then bullets rained

.....and the atomic bomb...

He found the woman again
with a shred of the red cloth.

Her bowels
.....and placenta were spread

under the wall; in the ditch.

He did not find her unborn child but he smelled it.

After rain and rain, the moon
threw down a little blue light.

.....How beautiful the spring of 1946 was;

dandelions and clovers covered the wall
.....and nobody cou…
My new hanging pot of flowers start blooming.
I am reading Columbia Poetry Review, which I purchased yesterday at Columbia College Chicago.

Two of my favorite poems...

The Penguin Chronicles
By Jason Bredle

Six days a week it's a sea of black and white. The seventh day
it's white as far as you can see. Have you ever traveled where the
sun never sets? Have you ever felt the despair of standing on a
sheet of ice with the last Oreo cookie in your hand? I'm all right.
Everything's fine. I'm not a lone. If I learn to hop, squawk, swim
and eat raw fish I think the penguins will consider me a friend. I
hope they tell me where they go on the seventh day. Maybe they'll
even invite me to go with them. The sky here is always so blue.

And our professor...

In the Fine Time of Warriors
By David Dodd Lee

Latin for it, buried deep, in tongues


Next, install the Skep-to-kill Driver

A few individual peas roll around on the dinner plate


Toes to die for

Under the earth there are tunnels and caves full of harvester ants

The guy'…
Zachary Schomburg's Poetry Reading
at Columbia College Chicago

I am happy that he read one of my favorite love poems, "The Fire Cycle."

And Charmi-- He remembered you!

Zachary Schomburg is the author of The Man Suit (Black Ocean 2007), Scary, No Scary (Black Ocean 2009) and several small press chapbooks including three collaborations with Emily Kendal Frey: OK Goodnight (Future Tense 2010), Feelings Using Wolves (Small Fires Press 2010), and Team Sad (Cinematheque Press 2010). His translations of Andrei Sen-Senkov have been published in The Agricultural Reader, Circumference, Harp & Altar, Mantis, Aufgabe, and others. He co-edits Octopus Books and Octopus Magazine. He lives in Portland where he teaches at Portland Community College and Portland State University.
I am reading The Yale Younger Poets Anthology.
William Virgil David is one of my favorite poet in the book.

The Sleep of the Insomniac

The body beside your body sleeps like death.

There is nothing to hear from your heart,
ghostly clock, full of collapse. Even your
breath, wind from the world's wind, breaks

unevenly, losing itself in itself. Suddenly,

the stars fall to fill your room. Time is
the thin spider you found along the fence
when you were five and kept to yourself

the way, for years, you kept your body

inviolate until you learned there was nothing
to be done for the flesh which would keep it
incorruptible. Death is as close as the wife

you sleep beside. Stars fasten to your forehead.
My grandfather and I
Hawaii 2007
My grandfather, Jinsaku Ichihara, passed away on April 20, 2010. I will miss him but I hope that he will find a way to cross the sanzu river and enter heaven.
Dinner by Aaron
Salmon saute
Japanese potato salad

Potomac Review is out. This is their blog.

One of my favorite poem by Elizabeth Spires from the issue.


In my room, I am and am
not what you would imagine.
Fear and desire swirl
around me, though me.

The past: a minefield
I pick my way through.
The future: obscured
by fog that will not lift.

I sit in a blue chair,
letters scattered on the desk.
Pens stand at attention.
The paper blank, noncommittal.

Here are three seashells,
each small as a fingernail,
in which unknowable
creatures once lived.

two fortunes preserved
for luck. And a doll
in a doll's rocking chair,
holding a tiny doll daughter.

Absent faces peer
across a chasm of years,
never to come back.
Though they do.

Always I see more than I want
to see, wishing to be unseen.
If you could see me now,
you would not know me.

Contributors are...
Alex Chertok, Alison Christy, Sheena Cook, Jim Daniels, Nelson L. Eshleman, Naoko Fujimoto, Peter Grandbois, Kathy Gray, JIll A. Grunenwald, Virginia Hartman, Tiffany Hawk, Jane Hoogestraat, Adam Houle, L…
I am reading "Unincorporated Persons in the Late Honda Dynasty" by Tony Hoagland.

One of my favorite poem from his book...


Play the one about the family of the ducks
where the ducks go down to the river
and one of them thinks the water will be cold
but then they jump in anyway
and like it and splash around.

No, I must play the one
about the nervous man from Palestine in row 14
with a brown bag in his lap
in which a gun is hidden in a sandwich.

Play the one about the handsome man and woman
standing on the steps of her apartment
and how the darkness and her perfume and the beating of their hearts
conjoin to make them feel
like leaping from the edge of chance--

No, I should play the one about
the hard rectangle of the credit card
hidden in the man's back pocket
and how the woman spent an hour
plucking out her brows, and how her perfume
was made from the destruction of a hundred flowers.

Then play the one about the flower industry
in which the migrant workers curse their o…
I am reading "The Continual Condition" by Charles Bukowski.

One of my favorite poems from his book...

parts dept.

listen, she said,
I never knew my husband had such a big cock.
he was the only man I'd ever been to bed
then I met you.

listen, I told her, do you hear me talking about
my e-wife's genital organs?

you don't ever talk about your x-wife,
she said.

well, until I met you I thought she had a big
one, I said.

big what? she asked.

automobile, I said, now let's put on some records
and dance.
My fellow-poet, Charmi, is going to join Poetry Marathon at Artpostwith Professor Nancy Botkin and Professor Clayton Michaels. They will read their poems around 6:00pm on April 9, Friday at Artpost Gallery (216 W. Madison Street, South Bend, IN).
I am reading Franz Wright's Earlier Poems.

One of my favorite poem from the book...


Playing your trumpets
thin as a needle
in my ear,
standing on my finger

or on the back of my neck
like the best arguments
against pity I know.
You insignificant vampires

who sip my life
through a straw;
you drop of blood
with wings;

of insomnia
I search for
with a lit match.

I had a job once
driving around in a truck
to look for your eggs.
They can be found

in ditches, near
train tracks, outside
of a barn
in an upright piano filled with rainwater.

It is impossible to kill
all of you,
invisible in the uncut grass
at the edges of the cemetery:

when the dogs go down there it
looks like they've gotten into birds.
Yellow Flowers from Aaron
I read a blog about an interesting and brilliant idea forNational Poetry Month.I really wish that I could join them; however, I am horribly broke. Somebody, please, please give me a job!!!
I start reading Li-Young Lee's "Behind My Eyes." I fall in love with his poems since I read "ROSE" two years ago.

One of favorite poems from his book...


"We can't stay where we are,
and we don't know where else to go,"

is the first card my mother deals. We're playing
her deluxe edition of "Memories
from the 20th Century."

"Dead Baby," "Mystery Bundles," "Cleansing by Sacrifice."

Seven cards apiece and the object is to not die.

"Exodus," "Eyes Snatched Away,"
"Superstition at the Side of the Road."

All cards are good or bad depending on how you play them.
"Defeated by wings," "Eating Forbidden Blood."

No card possesses inherent value.
"Among the Lepers," "Burial by the Solo River,"
"The Extracted Oil."

Every player begins in bondage.
Every player eventually dies. Everybody plays
where they know or don't know they're …
I am reading "The Paris Review Book for Planes. Trains. Elevators. and Waiting Rooms."

One favorite poem by Robert Pinsky.


Inside the silver body
Slowing as it banks through veils of cloud
We float separately in our seats

Like the cells or atoms of one
Creature, needs
And states of a shuddering god.

Under him, a thirsty brilliance.
Pulsing or steady,
The fixed lights of the city

And the flood of carlights coursing
Through the grid: Delivery,
Arrival, Departure. Whim. Entering

And entered. Touching
And touched: down
The lit boulevards, over the bridges

And the river like an arm of night.
Book, cigarette. Bathroom.
Thirst. Some of us are asleep.

We tilt roaring
Over the glittering
Zodiac of intentions.
I am reading "News of the World" by Philip Levine.

One of favorite from his book...


Smiling, my brother straddles a beer keg
outside a pub, 1944, a year
of buss bombs. He's in the Air Corps,
on a mission to London to refill
oxygen tanks for B-24s, the flying coffins
as they were dubbed by those who flew
them night after night. Fifty years later
a German writer on a walking trip
through East Anglia meets gardener
who recalls as a boy of twelve hearing
the planes taking off at dusk to level
the industrial cities of the Ruhr
and later when the Luftwaffe was all
but destroyed whatever they could reach.
"50,000 American lads died." The gardener
recalls waking near dawn, the planes
stuttering back in ones and twos.
How many Germans died we may
never know. "Must have been women,
children, and the very old what with
all the eligible men gone to war."
The German novelist writes it down
word for word in his mind and goes
on to an appointment with an English
writer born in Ge…
Something White Project is successfully done. I decorated with my Grandmother's handmade tablecloth. Aaron made a frame for my art because it is too huge for any frames in stores.

Our Dining Room with a Kapok Tree
I am reading Louise Gluck's book, "A Village Life."

Two favorite poems from her book.


Not far from the house and barn,
the farm worker's burning dead leaves.

They don't disappear voluntarily;
you have to prod them along
at the farm worker prods the leaf pile every year
until it releases a small of smoke into the air.

And then, for an hour or so, it's really animated,
blazing away like something alive.

When the smoke clears, the house is safe.
A woman's standing in the back,
folding dry clothes into a willow basket.

So it's finished for another year,
death making room for life,
as much as possible,
but burning the house would be too much room.

Sunset. Across the road,
the farm worker's sweeping the cold ashes.
Sometimes a few escape, harmlessly drifting around in the wind.

Then the air is still.
Where the fire was, there's only bare dirt in a circle of rocks.
Nothing between the earth and the dark.


Like a child, the earth's going to …
I am reading "Lucifer at the Starlite" by Kim Addonizio.

Two favorite poems from her book...


It was following me so I killed it,
I felt kind of bad but it was following me

so I cut off the head with scissors,
the neck was thin and rubbery, easy to sever,

it wasn't a bad pig--more like a dog
that hasn't been trained,

it's not the dog's fault.
Maybe it was lost and needed my help

but I didn't like seeing it every time
I turned around. Are you with me on this one?

Don't waste a thought on that pig.
Never mind how it bled

without making a sound, black welling up
under the scissors. Did I say they were shears?

Never mind the shears.
This is all in my head, all right? Forget it.

It could have been a boy, four, maybe five
years old. It had that trusting look.

Though come to thing of it
there was something thievish

in the corners of the eyes.
They were pinking shears,

with say-toothed blades. I killed it
so it would stop. What did I have

that it could want? This was just a…
Something White Project Update
Almost Done!
I receivedPassages North: Winter/Spring 2010by Northern Michigan University. I read the magazine while I was waiting for my new driver license at a license branch in Illinois. When I took a written test in Indiana six years ago, I failed eights times; however, I passed it on the first try today. My English reading skill has been really improved. I am really glad that I got a master degree in English.

Contributors are...

Jennifer Lynn Alessi, Paul Scot August, John Azrak, Priscilla Becker, Shelley Berg, Monica Berlin, B.J. Best, Mary Biddinger, Malachi Black, Hadley Boyd, Jamie Brunton, Claudia Burbank, Kim Chinquee, Katie Cortese, Jim Daniels, Jordan David, Katrina Denza, Owen Duffy, Mary Beth Ferda, Gary Fincke, Naoko Fujimoto, Christine Garren, Laura Gibson, Aaron Bilbeath, Mariela Griffor, Becky Hagenston, Michael Hemery, Bob Hicok, Daniel John, Jonathan Johnson, Charmi Karanen, Hailey Leithauser, Tim Lockridge, Sara Maclay, Pamela McClure, Jane Mead, Travis Mossotti, Mark Neely, Ro…
I am reading Zachary Schomburg's "Scary, No Scary." According tohis blog, He will be in Chciago on Apr. 29, 2010, Thursday. Columbia Poetry Review Reading and Release Party. Chicago, IL.

Columbia Poetry Review no. 23 Release Party & Poetry Reading
Thursday, April 29, 5:30 p.m.
Ferguson Hall
600 South Michigan, 1st Floor

And one of my favorite poems from "Scary, No Scary."


When I cupped my hand a broken hummingbird fell into it.
Its eyes had been pecked out, its beak was missing, and I could
see its heart beating through its torn chest. The heart began
to fall out, so I put my finger there to hold its heart in. It felt
more like a vibration than a heartbeat, like a moth's wing. It
felt good on my finger. Then another broken hummingbird
fell, but into the pond. It made a few ripples and then floated
there on its side, left leg twitching, beak frozen open, stiff little
creature with one wing straight up.…
Aaron and I were invited by Chelle and Jon's Wedding. It was a very wonderful party. Congratulations and happy birthday to Chelle!


(1) 先般、シカゴ市郊外に在住する邦人の方から、「知人(以下Aさん)にな







(2) Aさんを名乗るEメールは英文で記載されており、差出人として表示され









(3) Aさんを名乗るEメールの内容は非常に切迫しており、心配した通報者の











(4) このようなEメールを悪用した詐欺の手口は、個人のメール・アカウント

Writing Carrier
Writing Hobby and Writing Habit

Since I have been looking for a job, I have had more time to read books and listen to Japanese radio shows than before. I am going to meet my fellow poets next week, so I should start at least one or two new poems for a workshop. I wrote down “A red kettle that my mother bought” in my notebook.

I am just killing my time to entertain myself. And my death metal guy told me that I am suffering from a total lack of stimulation (bored all of the time). I chase my cat and call his name hundreds of times a day.

After I read books of my current favorite Japanese author, Oe, Kenzaburo (大江 健三郎), I listened to a radio show hosted by Kume, Hiroshi (久米 宏). Kume was interviewing Oe to ask why young Japanese children cannot identify their desired role in society.

Oe explains how important it is for young peoples to have “habits of life.” He is a writer, so writing is his habit since he was a young student. Kume long enjoyed researching and conveying fac…
"The black cat is playing a red ribbon"
--a birthday gift from my sister.
Writing Carrier
Wander the Screen Land

I just watched Alice in Wonderland about fifty minutes ago, and it was a very wonderisting journey with my death metal guy; well, I got reimbursement.

My favorite actress, Anne Hathaway, was as white as a granite chess piece, until a red dot appeared on her forehead. Somebody— I would like to name him/her as someone who loved pointing at objects not only on powerpoint screens but also at the white queen’s forehead.

Maybe the pointer obsesses over pointing at random objects and wanted to let me know the invisible cat was on the white queen’s forehead. I would like to thank you for dragging my attention all over the screen and away from Tim Barton’s artwork.

I left the theater and talked to workers about the situation—how my first fifteen minutes were wonderfully ruined by chasing down management to stop the pointer. I even missed Alice’s fall into the hole.

The workers were wonderfully helpful. They came to the dark theater with a flash light and war…
Something White Project Update
with my proud new phone.
Big Scream is out.


I sank into a florescent
pink-green margarita. A stubborn,

modern artist scribbled the colors
into my mouth, throat, stomach… Prickly

grains of salt
on the rim and a crescent-green

lime abused
my lips and tongue.

I drain half a gallon of colors into
a toilet. While a stranger rubbed my back, I saw

Dove soap, my mother’s smell.
She was in a lemon nightgown when I left.

She held me, radiating
a heavenly aura of motherhood

like saints in religious art carry
a halo of holy light.

A scab remained
on the harsh outline of my drunken face.

I picked and flicked it away with my long nails.
I wished I could be the scab.