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Freedom To Be Miserable No Matter Where I Am

My freedom is slowly being invaded by an anomalous energy--commitment--I cannot promise to behave like people expect me to--devoted daughter, lovely wife, and hard worker. I am thankful for my seriousness though, for I am dealing with my horribly sick father, crying & depressed mother, unemployed death-metal hubby, and everything else that I think of whenever I should be relaxing, or sleeping, or driving, or defecating.

I am not the type of girl who loves commitment; therefore, I escaped and ran away from Japanese society when I was sixteen years old. I moved away as far as possible. I love being alone and working toward my goal of being an aggressive artist, being free to explore contemporary artistic concepts.

Recently, I am really afraid of how I cannot balance freedom and commitment. There is no longer freedom for me. I can create time for art, but sadly art cannot be my number one priority. Paying rent for my apartment, organic peaches, arguing death-metal hubby, and placating depressive parents are competing with my creative energy.

I know that I should not act like a selfish isolationist, but at the same time, I cannot ignore them. I want to be a proud daughter, kind wife, and responsible person.

Amazingly, I start thinking of going back to Japan to support my parents. When I think about that, my heart beat doubles. With my parents in Japan, I am afraid of losing my writing ability because I will have no time for art and no energy for things outside working, paying rent, taking care of my parents, and teaching my death-metal hubby to be a "デース メタル ハビー". At the same time, I understand that if I am a real writer, I can write under any circumstances, no matter where I am.

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RHINO Poetry 2017 this Saturday, April 29, at The Book Stall

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.

4-5 pm Featured reading by RHINO 2017 poets and editors. Copies of the new issue will also be on sale. Grab some RHINO swag--bookmarks and buttons and meet the editors and poets of this 40+ award-winning literary magazine.

Featured readers:

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…

Pre-Order "Mother Said, I Want Your Pain" Today!

"Mother Said, I Want Your Pain" (The winner of the Shared Dream Immigrant Contest, selected by Janine Joseph) will be available from Backbone Press (Spring 2018).

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.”

Pre-Order Your Copy Today from Backbone Press!