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A POEM FOR THE TOHOKU EARTHQUAKE IN JAPAN NO.6

I am writing poems adapting Japanese tsunami news/stories into the first narrative. What I can do as Japanese, I want to tell their stories to English speaking countries. The poem is fictional based on a real event.

***
OVERNIGHT

Cars congested by unlit
signals. From the forth
floor I shouted, Run and climb. The tsunami
surged every five minutes. Waves
crashed oil tankers. The flaming
houses flowed with the burning
sea. I am cold. Help me, a woman
pleaded. Her hair absorbed
the oil and ignited. Then her scorched
head sank......God, please take her to heaven,
I prayed and
prayed on my shaking legs. In the evening,
I burned my necktie to keep warm.
My eyes were wide
open in the blackout. I wanted
the sun to rise. I wanted my mother’s warm
hands. I finally dozed off…

There was an annihilated
city in front of me. I stood
with only my cellular phone in my pocket.

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3 pm RHINO editors write poems-on-demand! Order a poem-to-go on any topic of your choice. RHINO editor-poets will compose a poen for you on the spot in ild school typewriters for a small donation to the magazine.

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Naoko Fujimoto was born and raised in Nagoya, Japan. She was an exchange student and received a B.A. and M.A. from Indiana University South Bend. Her recent publications are in Prairie Schooner, Hotel Amerika, RHINO, Cream City Review, and many other journals. Her first chapbook, “Home, No Home”, won the annual Oro Fino Chapbook Competition by Educe Press. Other short collections, “Silver Seasons of Heartache” and “Cochlea”, will be published by Glass Lyre Press in May, 2017. Currently she is working on her graphic poetry co…

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Of the collection, Janine Joseph writes:“I do not know/ if I am even right to be a mother at a right time,” discloses the speaker in the opening poem of Mother Said, “I Want Your Pain.” Evocative and startling in their unflinching clarity of image, these poems are inheritors of the aftermath of nuclear fallout and chemical warfare. They are tuned to the movement of transgenerational traumas. Grandmothers who “hid in a ditch with three horses” while B-29s shot bullets overhead, leave relatives who later ask of our bequeathed earth, “Is the land poisoned or not poisoned?” Here is a striking collection with a deft voice, poised even as it turns on or transcends an observation or emotion: “Grandfather watches TV on the highest volume,/ the howling-wind.”

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