November 14

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poetry

Nightime and raining
in Akihabara

screens shout
at nobody

in particular
and songs play on

in endless short
loops, Yodobashi,

yodobashi, even here
up seven floors

in a narrow corridor
stacked with bins

of diodes, capacitors,
secret parts

foreign as the writing
on the wall–

signs here have no meaning
for us–

we enter if the door is open,
and stare,

entranced, as small things
start to move,

or dance, or wait for us
to reach out

and divine their purpose–
although technically useless

this plastic dome
with a slit cut out

to form a toothless mouth
has us in crying, laughing

at its wretched singing,
its function must be joy–

the sentiment is clear
if not the packaging.

Outside loud neon
melts into pools of liquid

color, blurred by our tears
and the unceasing rain,

suggestive in a way
of Christmas lights, the tree

the way a sleepy child
sees it, awake if barely,

still tethered to conciousness
by pure delight

November 13

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poetry

Recently arrived,
wide-eyed and awake
well past midnight,

dyssynchronous–
the ginko here
has turned to gold

rain plastering
leaves to cold windows–
it was quite warm still

in Tokyo,
and mostly green
with neon evenings

and the unbelievable
lightness of being
always in transit,

mostly uncomprehending,
empty as a mouth
hanging open in surprise

at some novelty, beauty
requiring no formal translation,
the now familiar clatter

of bells at the shrine,
claps and bows and heady incense,
deer ambling by, unafraid

and observing closely,
silently, unburdened
by speech

so also moving lightly
but with effortless presence,
neither studied

nor imposed–
how often we were told
you are here, you are here,

fish, tide, tree
as subtle cues, landscapes
simplified by rapid passage–

Now, the gray static
of early morning hours,
grainy with data points

and unsettled like weather–
Too much to take in.
Just where am I? And when?

October 21

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poetry

It’s sunny in the mountains
but it isn’t sunny here

fog expands, descends
bright with day

but clinical, sterile
silence like a tumor

excised or silence
like the scalpel–

malignant and precise–
the skyscrapers

disappear into the white
inversion, soundlessly

no breath of wind
the gingko leaves

a thousand
stilled tongues

October 11

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poetry

Crescent moon
mostly a shadow

mostly nothing
absence of light

each night
listening for

the voice
hearing it

wishing I hadn’t–
the matte of lack

having plenty
but just not that–

the rest is black
but this silver sliver

shiny as promise
pulling like desire

like a hook
through the mouth

September 30

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poetry

the garage door
of the building

across the street
flies open

an anxious eyelid
creaking, sleepy

the suns sets earlier
and earlier

these days trail off
suggestively

this is sharper
an intentional silence

it says everything
it needs to

September 28

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poetry

At first the quiet
like a balm

the calm eye
of a storm

but it, too, turns
evenings

like cupped palms
all that they might hold

what prescribes dread
instead of hope

it gets darker earlier
turning in

this cave of a world
and still no word

September 27

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poetry

the thing about truth
is something is

or is not
it rained

then stopped
no amount

of shouting
will change it

interrupted
it begins again

it floats better
than hope

and other
feathered things

like ducks
with their distinctive

ambulatory style
and vocalizations

September 19

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poetry

lost a bit
too easy to float

in a darkened room
eyes adjusting

static, snow falling
on the ceiling

there are so many
tones of silence

this one aches
hollow as a bird bone

this down comforter
is heavier

it’s the air
trapped

between feathers
that warms

flight light
but more parachute

or net
for falling upwards?

September 10

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poetry

It is an active quiet
low jets in their final approaches

cars accelerating
all departures

the lights in the half-finished
tower go out in blocks

goodnight, goodnight
the muffled bassline

of some song
in passing

the man-made geometries
of light against

a matte black night
no moon, no stars

just the bright cascade of glass
bottles into the bin

behind some bar
the city full

of emptiness
expanding out like a lung