There are no roses for us
but the ones we make
from Japanese paper
made in China, by the way,
that we buy in vast retail spaces
stocked with glue and glitter and ribbon
and blank books of impermanent quality
with which we build volumes
of memory and dreams.
The dreams are for ourselves, supposedly.
The memory is for anthropologists, hopefully.
They’ll see how we were
then marvel at how dull it all was,
and wonder why we wasted our time
seeing our children,
or writing poems.
And they will envy us that we tried,
goddamn we really tried,
and that we left behind for them
enough of a world to pity.
Calling occupants of interplanetary craft stores….
I often look into mirrors
to view worlds we don’t normally see.
This woman in my world, for example,
at the next table over in a Japantown restaurant,
she was pretty and she was beside herself.
“That’s a great literal use of that phrase,” I thought
as I went back to eating my katsu curry.
And as I did I hoped
the woman in the mirror world
didn’t reach out and touch
the woman in my world,
as this would surely throw both worlds
into dangerous chaos and flux.
(Izumiya Restaurant, Japantown, San Francisco, September 2017)
It rained a little bit this morning.
just a few enlarged drops,
smacking the hood of my car.
Just enough rain
for the sky to
let the Earth know
that the Sky can kill it
anytime it wants.
But the Sky keeps the Earth around
like that coaster on the dining room table,
the coaster you got in Vegas
when you were just drunk enough
to win $100 on video poker.
It cost you $200
to win that $100,
and that’s how the Sky feels about the Earth.
We banish it
and frustrate it
and fill it with
and our vinegar.
The Sky is not our cloud atlas,
(The Sky really hated that book)
and it is not the take-away menu
at your corner dipshit combini.
The Sky is
your beauty and your love.
The Sky is
the only way you’ll ever get to Mars.
The Sky is
a chest of drawers full of only bright things,
things of silk and satin and Japanese whimsy.
is your mother
and your father
and we are rather cross with you right now
and need you to knock that shit off.
I like toys, specifically toys of Japanese design. This is one view of my office, in my house. I should be running a toy store in Nakano Broadway or Akihabara. It’s almost a bit out of control, is what it is…
(Brisbane, California, April 2016)