Rainy January morning. Shucked oyster sun sits behind
gray flannel undercast. One week before Chinese New Year
and its another three month holiday from English teaching
so Sayoko came down to Shinjuku where we could shop and
meet for lunch at our favorite Chinese restaurant dim sum
twelve floors above the tracks as a fierce wind blows off the
Asian mainland and its -16 in Calgary.

Couldnt decide between The Che Guevara Myth and Jack
Russell Terriers so didnt buy a calendar at Tokyu Hands
because I was thinking too hard about the crazy Australian
bugger who wrote in the Japan Times its ok for Japanese
to exclude foreigners from their sentos up north because
Russian sailors behave like typical Russian a-holes in
Japanese public baths then the Times got flooded by irate
expats protesting universal human rights.

Here comes Sayoko with two suits for seventy percent off
and while eating shrimp fried rice and vegetable dumplings
and jasmine tea it reminds me of the Australian writer rotting
in a Bangkok jail for calling the King a stupid old fart. One is
gray and the other is black. What is it with these Aussies
anyway? Always mouthing off like the drunks beside me on
my last trip back from Melbourne heading for Hokkaido to
go snowboarding which I cant stand.

Actually its no wonder. Remember the former Prime Minister?
Helluva guy always good for a tasteless off-color joke or a
cheap racist remark about Aborigines and the work ethic or
horny shines, wogs, and nignogs. Then theres that flaming
a-hole who started FOX News please dont get me started
because I want to finish my lunch and get back to something
important like watching CNBC Business News or gouging my
eye out with a spoon.
Tokyo, Friday, 01/23/09

Sometimes I wonder: Gandhi. part 2/5 (jz)

Sometimes I wonder...
I wonder what if Gandhi were alive?
If he would still be dressed in a simple white sheet
and beneath, skin and bones,
no shoes on his feet
Or would Gandhi today have traded up--
traded up to an Armani suit,
white shirt, and tie?

If I were Gandhi, after I having spoken so much about non-violence and independence,
I would probably wonder why--
"So why would anyone, other than the British
want to kill me?
Look at this little harmless body,
eating only vegetables and no meat."
It think Gandhi must have been a very funny man because he said,
"If I had no sense of humor, I would have long ago committed suicide."
And he did live until the age of 79.
What year is this? 2009?
Man, how time flies!

Sometimes I wonder what Gandhi would think about India today?
About India's GNP and his country's growing energy needs.
And what would he think about the industrial growth, the road--
the road to so-called prosperity?
Sometimes I wonder . . .
With all this material shit these days,
how rich--
actually how rich are we?

Sometimes I wonder: Jesus. part 1/5 (jz)

Sometimes I wonder . . .
If Jesus were alive today, would he be wearing sandals or black dress shoes on his feet. And would they be size 9 or 11?
If I were he, I'd be still be pretty pissed off at Pontus Pilot
for what . . for what the fucker did to me.
After all Crucifixion---
Crucifixion, has got to be a pretty nasty way to go:
Nailed to a cross by your hands and feet.
Thank God 2000 years later,
we've have more civilized ways to kill.
But, I do believe in giving credit where credit's due.
Pilot, was a man ahead of his time--
Way ahead of the Wright Brothers,
Way ahead of Leonardo Da Vinci, too.
I mean, a Pilot? There weren't even airplanes at the time.

I wonder . . .
If he were a lawyer today, how much better he would have been able to defend himself in court--
By the way, wasn't Elvis the King anyway?
And being a Jew and all, Jesus probably would have gone to Yale or Harvard Law school and would have passed the bar,
not like happened the last time. . .
when he got hung up on the boards.

His defense: he was just flower child who got shafted by his friends.
Guys like Judas, or Bernie Madoff, who wanted to make some coins.
And the people pointed their fingers said he was the one,
and in accordance with Roman law,
something had to be done.

But today, all Jesus probably would have needed to do is swear on a Bible.
He could plead the 5th.
Today, even much worse offenders of the law,
like murderers with a good defense team--
even murderers like OJ can get off.
At most, Jesus would only get a slap the hands, and perhaps have to pay a small penalty or be exiled to Gaza.
At least, we don't do crucifixions these days.
Only something close.
My God, how times have changed!
And, it makes me wonder . . .
If Jesus could have walked out the courtroom a free man
how much better things would be.

SCRAMBLE by Wallace Gagne

In Gaza this morning, Palestinian and Israeli forces sank to the
bottom following a fierce groin injury off the overloaded coast of
pirate Somalia. This is no country for old men, declared an old
bitch gone in the teeth. Mission Accomplished, echoed the Dalai
Lama speaking from his sandbagged summer home destroyed by
surgical strikes under the Brooklyn Bridge.

Meanwhile in this country, economic conditions continue unabated
as tens of thousands fill you with the faults they had then add some
extra just for you. In the short term, analysts dont expect a walking
miracle, bright as a Nazi lampshade. But at spring mending-time,
look out for incredible buying opportunities, especially among spying
Business-men intent on building one Standard Oil in the whole

Lately things are coming together, leaning on the john door in the
5 SPOT, watching the Internet Age flash by faster than huevos
rancheros racing under a foot of water. I feel whole, centered, more
powerful than a plastic breadbox, meaningful as a box of chocolates,
ready to hit the ground ass over tea kettle.

Lets face it. These are extraordinary times. Im leading a quiet life in
Tokyo. Monkey mind jumping blog to flicker to twitter to hottest new
whatchamacallit. Every day watching the pachinko players holding
my hat for Breaking News Headlines. This Just In. Zip. Zero. Losers
pretending to be winners. Nothing masquerading as something.

Theres no other way. Always starting in the middle, the same old
story, but different, of how we ought to but cant because of without
sermonizing. Reality is funny. Emptiness. Fullness. Becoming like
you know what I mean. The World will always be whether we like it
or dont, whether we make our first or second, whether or not we
believe in The Great Mother or just uncap a cool one and say Ahhh.
Tokyo, Wednesday, 01/14/09

Where's my stimulus package? (jz)

I need a stimulus package: one that's not too big and not too small.
One that's not too short, and not too tall.

And I need a stimulus package: one that's not too young--
cuz that would be--be against the law.

I'm not looking for quick fixes. Such measures are like jerking off to porn on the internet. Ya see, short-term solutions just don't cut it--won't cut the funk I'm currently currently in.

I don't need a cash infusion. I don't need an emergency loan. I don't need a bail out. I don't need billions; I don't need millions. I need just one stimulus package--just one for my own.

The banks took our money and gambled it away--after . . . after they took for themselves. They filled their pockets with huge bonuses and undeserved high pay.

Oh yeah, sure: a deep recession, a global credit crisis, an economic meltdown. They say we haven't seen such a situation since--not since the Great Depression.

Truthfully, I don't give a shit about what happens on Wall Street--whether it goes completely broke or not. After all, what has a bank or a banker really ever done for me?

All these so-called educated men in expensive suits: men with economic degrees and MBAs--bankers, lawyers, CEOs, and politicians--they habitually bend, break laws, and if they happen to get caught, they manage to simply walk way.

And if you believe that change has come to Washington--if you believe that change has come to Washington--if you believe the promise of the American dream, then you must be ASLEEP.

Because in more ways than one, we're all getting fucked. It's all one big fucking industry of greed.

Always was, and always will be.

So if you want to keep . . .if you want to keep your money safe, then stuff your savings under the mattress, and buy--buy what you need. Not want you please.

I don't want a stimulus package that looks like a pork barrel with years of deficit spending--a balloon of debt to someday repay. I need a stimulus package that lean (but not mean) with a physical policy that has its fuzz dispersed to the right areas--an economic miracle, if you may. I need an miracle under and on top of me.

I need a stimulus package. One that fires up my spirit and makes all this God damn rain go away--negates this daily deluge of bad economic news and the picture of grim outlook for the next decade. I need a stimulus package who will perform her voodoo economics on me and I'll demonstrate--demonstrate my concept of trickle down theory.

I need a stimulus package who doesn't live on Wall Street, Washington, or even on Main Street. I need a stimulus package: one with long legs, wide hips, and who lives outside--outside of society.


First Fascism failed. While everyone celebrated the fall
of Fascism, Jay moved to NBCs 10:00 slot. Then Communism
packed it in. While everyone celebrated the fall of Fascism,
the demise of Communism and Jays move to the 10:00 slot,
Conan moved to Jays 11:30 slot.

Everythings connected. The Third Reich. The former Soviet Union.
Never saving for retirement. Jimmys move to Conans 1:00 slot.
The dune buggy that flattened Frank OHara on Fire Island.
I walk up the Tokyo Street beginning to sun. Light bounces off
enormous glass piers as I suddenly see the headline:

Nothing lasts. Orgasm. The Triple Alliance. Postmodernism.
Securitized mortgage securities. Somewhere beyond the ozone
Bukowski hammers the wood, demands another vodka-seven.
Ginsberg glances out the Greyhound window, sees Wichita
anxiety molecules conjure up fresh paranoia.

While everyone celebrated the collapse of Capitalism, Madonna
got another divorce. Then Fascism came back. While everyone
celebrated the collapse of Capitalism, the Material Girls latest
break-up and the return of Fascism, Michael Jackson came back.

And so it goes. Round and round. Up and down.
Fascism, Communism, Capitalism.
Tokyo, Thursday, 01/01/09

Happy New Year! (jz)


Photo: a piece of the crowd on New Year's Day waiting in line to say a prayer for the coming year. Happy New Year everybody!. Asakusa Kannon Temple, Tokyo. Jan 1 jz

Japanese father time (jz)


Photo: elderly Japanese selling daruma dolls near Asakusa Kannon Temple, Tokyo. Jan 1 jz

New Year 's resolution (jz)


Photo: vendor selling roasted trout on a stick near Asakusa Kannon Temple, Tokyo. Jan 1 jz

Drinking with a friend (jz)

I ponder whether this whiskey glass
Is half full
or is it half empty?
But I can only conclude
that it's about time--
time to refill.

And I've heard all the words:
the words of encouragement
and the power--
the power of positive thinking.
Sure, I could fake a smile
and pretend that all the world is fine
and try to put it all--
everything out of my mind.

Some say it's better not to even ask such questions:
"Don't think too much,
there are no answers
That life . . . life is a Cabaret."
Besides, you can't do anything about it
Others tell you to come on over to their faith:
believe in someone or something
that will save you--
save you while on this short journey on earth
Luckily and economically
saving your soul
for eternity

But all I can do
is sit here and ponder
whether this whiskey glass
Is half full
or is it half empty?
And I can only conclude
that it's about time--
time to refill.

Oh-o, girls just wanna have fun! (jz)


Photo: pole dancer with an upside-down move in Kabukicho, Shinjuku. Dec. 22 jz

No news is good news on TV (jz)

My dumb thumb
lights up the flat screen
no longer the boob tube
just the 42 inch--
The Great 42 inch Escape
great expectations of seeing something--
watching something
faster than
than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive,
able to leap tall buildings in a single bound,
look, up at the sky!
But instead--
It's . . . it's . . . Channel 5
Let's see . . .
So is there anything else good on tonight?
What's this?
Just another crime story
sex, murder, glory
with a different title
but the same old story
Hey, didn't I see this same guy
on a different show
just he other day?
Isn't that---
isn't that what's his name?
Still we stayed glued
like in a trance
Even though
We know--
We know--
That on TV
The cops always get their man
The good guys always win in the end.
So I switch the channel
remote always in hand.
There's breaking news:
a terrorist attack
a plane crash
Between commercial breaks

Morning Monster

8am 2-24-08

His terrifying roar yanks me from my bed long before
any normal human time for getting up should occur—
his long cold fingers prying like jagged knives
at the once sturdy edges of the shingles above my head—
I listen (trying not to) as he looses yet another rectangle
and flings it into the madness that envelopes his angry lust;
I imagine it swirl, cutting sharp angles, one-winged,
as the curious & terrified birds watch from their hiding places
hoping against hope that they are safe from this wrath.

The sharp fingers pry continuously
and the shingles give way
one after the other
and go
splitting the icy air,
flinging miniscule particles of tiny ancient rock
hazardously from off their surfaces
(just in case someone were crazy enough to poke their eye
outside the safety of their abode for a better look).

The roar crescendos now and then, orchestrated like
the great Leonard Bernstein himself were waving the baton—
and the frigid fingers continue on to a nearby tree
and rake stiffly over each already barren grey branch
to scrape off whatever remains of leaves may yet cling there.

Old and weathered plastic bags
which snap viciously from their tangled branches
twisting against themselves
until wrought into unrecognizable white globs
finally give way now in the force of these ice fingers
which come to hack them loose
and send them plummeting to further doom unknown,
as yet more of them are snatched loose from the open dumpsters nearby —
they hurl themselves in frantic circles of white plastic tornados
itching for a tree, any tree…to cling to desperately in the cold—
they snap loudly against the winds, the force hitting the thin plastic
with a slapping non-stop punishment of power and superiority.

Now and then blasts of water pellets too big to be raindrops
careen like BB’s into my windows at just the precise moment—
(oh, Leonard is good!) and the glass rattles back loudly in protest,
threatens to crack, as the double-paned sliding windows
shake and moan from their worn-down aluminum slots.
The birds are all in hiding, and I don’t blame them one little bit.
I would open my door and invite them in to perch in warmth—
offer them a stale piece of bread of two,
if they would believe me my offered safety.
My voice would (of course) be snatched and obliterated the moment
I would make the offer into the devious and treacherous winds
and truthfully
the only thing I would wind up REALLY hosting, I’m sure
would be a living room full of tangled plastic bag refugees
rattling and quivering from their horrible experience
and probably too
shaking their empty noisy selves for bread.


1-1:10pm 4-14-08

Is it still abstinence
if it is not chosen—
if it is not done on purpose
for noble reasons
for pure & shallow
meaningless time ticking
place markers in the universe
of consciousness?

I choose not
my bed lies vacant
not by free will
not of righteous sacrifice—

I am not that good
(never have been)

I have raped the world of men
at every opportunity
through my life—
and now my barren bed
mocks me with its
stiff sheets
their isolated percale
ready to slip away
any man brave enough
to come near

And I stand back
and dare all comers to apply—
to slide in sideways
make the effort
and I will appease the linen Gods
with thunderous thighs unleashed in lust
and of a mind to enjoy—

And I will bloom then
and open my delicate petals
to the brightly jabbing stamen
and be—


What It Is

10pm 4-11-08

Black “Times new Roman” 12 point
aligned left
it spills from the unseen grey microscopic cells
and travels
blue nerve highways
red blood freeways
yellow fat alleys
brown-blotched -no name for this color skin -pavement

It comes and it comes
without invite
or vacation
and never brings desert (let alone a glass of wine)

It tip-toes
it hops
it bangs drums
it whispers rudely in your ear in the night
it comes in dreams

It is sinew
it is twine
it is seashell half buried in glittering beige sand
it is rubber
it is flower petal soft
and it coats the back of your tongue
like cherry cough syrup

It has limbs
padded toes and suction cups
broken toenails painted purple with silver stars
it tastes like chocolate mint
it burbles
even as you blink—
and it is warm as a puppy’s breath

It comes
it does
without a name
and yells a fresh one in your ear
that you have never heard before
and you will swear you hear it sing then
as it jumps there
just left
12 pointed—
traveled oh so far meticulously
and without blunder along the blue nerve
—and from where
to be YOUR poem?

Pay the Word

2pm 1-20-08

Two young girl-women of about fourteen
on the balcony next door,
feet up on the badly-worn wooden rails—
they holler down as two very small boys
circle below in the street on little bicycles,
their thin legs turn the wheels
pedaling to nowhere.

The girls throw their voices down—
“better watch out niggaz there’s cars cumin”
the boys look up to the girls,
look down the street in one direction only
keep pedaling in small circles
as a car comes from behind
“tode youz niggaz get outa the way…wha-choo
wanna do? Get runnedova? Dumb Niggaz!”

The girls up top on the balcony giggle mischievously
and continue to watch the boys—
who just moments earlier
had stood amongst them in a pile of thirty or so others
of varying heights
all nondescript, bundled up in the frigid 57 degree
high desert cold of early January.

I had watched them as they chased others
in another bunch down the street
two piles of voices echoing off each other—
the crowd mentality making them act as one
(one with no brain)
moving forward on auto pilot,
the littlest ones seeming to weave in & out
of the bigger one’s legs as they moved together en mass—
and as I watched, it called to mind a herd of elephants
with the young wandering amongst the tree trunk legs
which shield and protect them as they learn about the world
around them, and life, and how things work…
these little ones, absorbing all, like sponges as they too
weave amongst the teens, perhaps brothers & sisters
who have been given the task to “watch them”
and so they tag along as the others pick fights
and challenge comers from down the street,
who come up from the other end of the block—
hoodies pulled up to keep out the cold air
which whizzes and whips their words and threats
and loud voices into one huge roar
which comes to assault me as I watch, and worry
(on the line with the sheriff, wondering if THIS
time they will bother to show).

The “down the street-ers” go away…chased furiously
the crowd whipping around like bait worms in a fishing can—
all ends, looking for a place to grab hold
snagged on the line —ready to bite the catch before it bites them
and then the wails of laughter in triumph—
as they realize they have won this skirmish
they look towards the end of the street
hungry for round two…
nervous laughter piercing the cold air
as young feet stomp the cold sidewalk to try to stimulate some warmth
(and I think to myself…
why don’t they just GO INSIDE?
At the same time coming to the realization they have probably
been chased outside by whatever parent remains inside).

And so, I watch and listen to this, my neighborhood—
as it assaults me yet again…
as the girls sit on the balcony hurling “niggaz” down
to the impressionable brains of the very young boys who strut below,
already learning the ways of the jungle…
I think to myself, (outside now,) and bundled up against the cold
as I sweep the driveway clean again
from the remains of a large glass beer container
that someone has chosen to shatter into a thousand glittering fragments
in the cobbles and creases of old asphalt that make up my drive.
I sweep, and hear (without intent)
the “Niggaz” fly and boomerang off every conceivable
atom of the neighborhood, (and my brain)
and feel the assault as tho stabbed by a spear
as my brain defies me—
and conjures stiff men swinging from heavy branches
necks at odd unlivable angles
eyes defeated
bare feet pointing towards the very earth
they tried so hard to find a place of peace in.

I hear some of the last words they heard
slapping my cheeks in the cold wind—
haunting me
through the uneducated mouths of these unthinking girls
playfully calling the young lads “niggaz”
as tho it were so innocent and harmless a word—
and I instantly want to go to them
those girls—
I want to drag them by their synthetic woven hair
and pull the small boys by the ear—
I want to lasso the rest of their multitudinous group
(which acts as one, in unison)
with not one whole brain to split between them
and drag the whole lot of them off
to a Black History Museum
where the pictures on the wall will tell the story
where the ancestors still dangle —barefoot
and the rope is taut
and the eyes bulge unblinking watching them
watching them,
seeing, yes,
what they have done with what they have been given.
I want those young people to stand in front of the ancestors
the pictures
the ropes
the bulging eyes
the heavy branches —always ready, hungry…
I want them to take all that in,
and then
I want them to call each other
I want them to see how the word tastes upon their tongue
when it is flavored with the blood of their fathers
I want then to feel it wrap around each taste bud like that rope
that wrapped around that ancestor did
and feel that word
as it tightens
and strangles
and sucks the very life right out of their mouth
and then I want them to look up to their people
and apologize
and mean it—
I want them to never say that word again
or allow anyone else to say it in their presence.
I want them to pay the word
as their fathers paid the word
I want them to HEAR the cries of their mothers getting raped
because “niggers” had no voice in the world
I want those young people to stand there
and FEEL their history, OUR history and pay the word
and every time “the word” leaks like cancerous rot somewhere,
I want the people to Pay the Word
I want it paid for with honor
and reverence and respect for the dead
who paid for the word with their blood and lives.

I want it paid for until it’s spent and gone.
Pay the Word, pass it along.

And every time you see the word I want you to see
Your Grandpapa’s eyes staring back at you from that hangin tree

And every time you hear the word I want you to hear
Your Grandmama praying for her honor that she held so dear

See them there upon that wall
See them rot in the place they fall

See their bones that glow so bright
Finally, now, so wrongly white.

Tree Destiny

6pm 1-8-08

I used to stand so tall
and sway in the passing breezes—
I used to hold my limbs towards the heavens
and offer a quiet and safe place for birds
just passing through.

I stood on the little hilltop for several short years
comforted by my nearby cousins
and aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters who
waved daily, happily, at me in the sunshine
as we basked in the warmth of the day,
or enjoyed a lovely wonderful shower
which rinsed all the dust and grime away.

Our lives were simple,
and we needed nothing more.

And then this winter, some humans came along
and they played in the snow around us
they laughed in loud voices
and chased each other around me
and a little red-haired girl grabbed my branches
and said “This one daddy, I want this one!”

Her daddy, and mommy, and two brothers
came bouncing around to see how fat I was
and the mother admired me greatly
as she looked at all the wonderful spots that
I had been growing for years—
the special places
that would fit her shiny glass ornaments just so
and hold the garlands of popcorn and lights
and streams of twinkling tinsel
which would flutter ever so with just the slightest
change in air from someone passing by
as they’d come to gaze upon me
all dressed in my special finery
for “Christmas”
and on my very tippy-tippy-top
they’d place a star
that would twinkle with tiny lights
for baby Jesus’ birthday—
just like that star so long long ago
which I heard all about
as they took me from my spot on the hill
away from all my nearby cousins
and aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters—
and took me to their home
they placed me upright in a pan of water
and bumped into me over & over
they talked and told the story
and as they filled me up
and dressed me til I sparkled like jewels
from every angle
and I held all that up in my strong branches
proudly, as I listened,
and they talked about how I was the best tree
the fattest tree
the perfect tree for Christmas
and it was my destiny.

And then, after I was all dressed up
shiny, bright, and twinkling happily
they all went away.

I heard them saying they were going to “watch TV.”
I couldn’t figure out why they didn’t just watch ME
because I was all dressed up, and they spent so long
getting me like that, but I blinked and twinkled
alone, in front of the big window
well into the evening,
until the little red-haired girl came by
making all my tinsel dance
as she bent to unplug me.

Days went by and slowly, beneath me
bright boxes with even brighter bows
were placed beneath my branches.
When I was plugged in,
I would sparkle against the packages—
and the reflections
would glitter back up at me
all over again.

One night, very late, the mommy & daddy
came and plugged me in, and started whispering
while they brought more bright boxes to put beneath me.
And then, next to me, close enough to peek inside,
they put a baby buggy with a lovely red-haired dolly,
and two matching blue bicycles for the slightly bigger brothers.

I twinkled proudly while the mommy & daddy
tucked the presents all around me
and then stood back to admire their handy-work.
My tinsel fluttered as they stepped up
to pull my plug, but didn’t—
the daddy gave my branch a stiff shake
and pronounced me “still fresh enough.”
He kissed his wife, poured some water into my bowl
and left me to twinkle against the dark of the night window
as midnight came & went.

I was still standing there twinkling and holding up
all those bright ornaments and lights, garlands, & jewels
when first thing early in the morn,
as the birds began to sing
and the sun began to rise over the edge of the earth
the little red-haired girl and her brothers
came running to me
screaming joyously!

The mommy & daddy came too, looking very sleepy
and took the presents from beneath me
and passed them out to be opened—
of course, the bicycles and the buggy with the doll
were the very first things they saw
and had big cards tied to them that said:

When they were all finished unwrapping
there was a big pile of litter around me in a circle
of papers & strings & ribbons & stuffings & jumbles
as deep as the bottom of my branches!!
I twinkled merrily, proud to bounce my lights
off all that clutter and mess of Merry Christmas!

Soon enough, mommy came along,
with the little red-haired girl,
pulling along her new dolly in its buggy,
and they pulled & pushed and crammed all the used up fun
into large ugly black plastic bags
that got closed up tightly at the top—
so tight, in fact
that my twinkling lights could not shine at all
on the pretty paper or ribbon or twisted strings.
And the bags went away
and that night from my place in front of the window
as I twinkled—
with the spot beneath me naked and bare
I stood and stared
out into the darkness
at the two dark bags alone at the curb
so full of Christmas cheer.

Several & several days went by—
I didn’t count them.
I sparkled though, still nicely, and full of joy
I bounced my lights against the glass
and out into the night.
I fluttered my tinsel every chance I got
and watched as the little red-haired girl
took my popcorn strands away and outside
and tossed popcorn out into the grass
for the birds to come & carry away.
I wondered if any of the birds remembered me
or recognized me as I stood there in the window
holding out my branches
showing off my fine mouth-blown imported ornaments
like the royalty of trees that they had said I was
so many days ago.

And soon, the mommy came again, with more boxes.
I could hear the family, they were watching TV again
in the other room—something called a PARADE.
It was New Years Day now, and I found out that
that was another special day, but not one for me.
As the bands played in the TV in the other room
and the horses pranced,
and the rose-covered floats
shaped like all sorts of fantasy creatures
delighted the family
and the little red-haired girl hugged her dolly
I lost my glitter and glamour
strand by strand and
mouth-blown imported glass ornament by
mouth-blown imported glass ornament.
The mommy unwound my lights
and wrapped them into the boxes, she placed my
ornaments, my strands & garlands in boxes too.
She stripped me, and took away everything she had given me
except the tinsel.

She took my water bowl!

My pine needles;
(now that I could see without all the sparkle blinding me)
had dropped all over the floor beneath me.
I must have looked the sad pathetic sight;
naked of jewels AND of needles.
My branches drooped with my resolve.

I stood in the window empty now, and watched,
as the children went past, playing with their new toys.

And by & by the daddy came home.
He carried me out to the curb
and placed me right down where those two
large ugly black plastic bags
full of used up fun
got plopped.

I had to lay there, because without my bowl of water
I could no longer stand up and hold my branches out.
I laid there alright, the backside of me rather squished
beneath me in the dirt, there at the curb.
My branches on the other side; that were now on top
grew heavier as they grew drier, and browner.

The children passed without so much as a smile my way.

And this is where I am now —discarded
by the side of the road
caked in mud from passing cars
my limbs are weakened and dry, useless—
hungry no more for rain
or birds to visit, singing their songs of cheer—
I lay here brown & stiff
straggling against the curb without notice
shedding crumpled tinsel tears.

BURST by Wallace Gagne

Theres mayhem in the markets. Carnage in the global village.
Africas starving. Mumbais burning. Britney cant get it together.
Heres Wolf. Theres Mohammed. Come back Jesus.

People no longer enjoy the mental discipline they once had,
opting instead for the quick coming home to roost. Blacks still
think OJ is innocent. Fascism has replaced Communism in
Russia. Everybody believed what they heard in church or read
in the newspaper.

Nothing is solid, but can we suddenly switch to divine certainty
after living a life of profound secular scepticism? Likewise the
conquest of human and nonhuman nature by unlimited
technological advance accelerated through the fuse of global free
market capitalism.

Dont get me wrong. Im not saying weve got to get back to forty
acres of bucolic Rousseauean primitivism. A Black part-timer was
trampled to death when a WAL-MART opened on Black Friday.
McDonalds answered by unveiling their new double quarter
pounder with cheese.

Plato believed we are happiest when doing what we do best.
The polar bear is going the way of the aardvark and duckbilled
platypus. Naturally technology cant solve the climate crisis but
to watch rising waters in high definition embodies a beauty of
its own.

More to the point, you cant have a robust global economy without
looking like youre on the verge of something far greater than the
present moment. Descartes paved the way for the middle-class
collective orderliness now held responsible for Vietnam and Iraq
and the grossly overweight, also disappearing rain forests, the
subprime crisis and the firebombing of Dresden, across the Rhine
and deep into Germany.

With the death of the author, we are free to kill Black part-timers
standing between us and happiness.

The profit motive tearing apart the weaker ones lurks behind Eliots
Wasteland like an empty tequila bottle hurled from a speeding
sports utility vehicle which is why the exaggerated hopes of the
Enlightenment never panned out leaving tons of smartly dressed
people to uncouple survival of the fittest economic growth from the
devastating destruction of our fragile unstable biosphere.

Have some more beans, Tex said, shorting energy futures. Poetry
isnt rocket science although in our fragmented raging world
Social Science roars through shrunken forests like Simone Weil
cross-hatching a new cosmology in the endless flying apart

Everything is connected. Butterflies beating in Brazil. Polar bears
skating on thin ice. London bus bombings. Forty thousand tons
of raw tuna. The absolute explanation of absolutely everything.

Echoing Gertrude Stein particle physics says theres no there there.
Is the mind a mirror? Was there only silence before the Big Bang?
Will free market capitalism solve world poverty, end global hunger?

The moving finger points to the moon. No. Thats not right. This poem
demands something deeper. Pithier. How about, Praise the molecules
of this page, passing away, one by one, back to the Eternal Void?
Too Buddhisty. Trite. Are we free to interpret the narrative any way
we want? A pyramid of doubt rises from the embers of the Twin
Towers as I hammer along Main Street glancing at your watch.
Tokyo, Sunday, 06/12/08

Kevin Gray's CD Launch Party Nov 9. (jz)


Photo: Kevin Gray's performing songs from his new CD "Shipwrecked" at What the Dickens Nov. 9 in Ebisu, Tokyo. Nov.9 jz/

Newton said (jz)

Newton Said

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
That's what Newton said.

Did you know that a dragon fly has five eyes?
I read that in a book the other day
then I read another book about the five most popular ways men and women fuck,
which wasn't all that much more interesting until--
until I got to the index of the book.

And did you ever see dragonflies fuck on the fly?
One time, I saw a couple screw on an airplane.
It was over Alaska, I think.
Not that it makes any difference
because I wasn't directly involved.

And all I want--
All I want is for you--
for you to love me.
For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction
Newton said that
But I'm not sure--
I'm not sure if it's true.

Did you know that the lollipop was named after a race horse
And how sweet is that?
The other day I saw a video on the internet
of a woman sucking off a horse
I concluded two things:
That some people will do anything to be on TV.
And that the horse's name--
the horse's name was . . . "Lucky"

And I had a girlfriend once
who used to ride her horse bareback to get off.
But every night she's said that--
that she had a headache.
We split up after--
we stopped liking each other
which was about the same time the drugstore down the street closed down

And I want you
want you to show me
show me that you love me.
For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
Newton said that.
But I'm not sure--
I'm not sure if it's true.

On the Road on Election Day (Sean Quinn)

"I got dog-tired beyond Macon and woke up Dean to resume. We got out of the car for air and suddenly both of us were stoned with joy to realize that in the darkness all around us was fragrant green grass and the smell of fresh manure and warm waters. "We're in the South!"

– Jack Kerouac, “On the Road”

If there is one shocker on election night in the presidential race, cast your eyes to Georgia. 1,994,990 people voted early in Georgia. 3,301,875 total voted in Georgia's presidential race in 2004.


Thank God. At last. Americas long nightmare is finally over. Of course
not everybodys happy. Because its a big disappointment for soccer
moms, ditto heads, knuckle draggers, unibrows, flagwavers, gaybashers,
right-to-lifers, everyone who puts country first and hates liberals.
Unfortunately not a good day for gun nuts, gas guzzlers, racial profilers,
dollar averagers, Joe the Plumber, the Watergate Plumbers, all those who
still believe Saddam had weapons of mass destruction.

Yes. Its a brand new day in America. Unless youre a stock flogger,
derivatives junky, National Parks pipeliner, selling Freedom Fries, clear
cutting, making Revolving Door or Swiftboat ads or drilling for offshore
oil. Morning In America. Thousand Points of Light. Except for Jesus
freaks, Bible thumpers, The Base, granny dumpers, flat taxers, no taxers
and whale killers. Black Day In November for the Vegas Family, managed
health care mob, camouflage wearers, waterboarders, minutemen, surf
and turfers, global warming deniers, Fox News believers, war lovers,
Castro haters, the walk softly and carry a big hydrogen bomb set.

Tell me Im not dreaming. Is it really game over for cowboy boots, Stetsons,
Dallas Cowboys, leveraged bullbleep, Confederate flags, gun racks, the
tobacco lobby, attack helicopters, full metal jackets? Pinch me. Surely
salad days havent ended for depleted uranium, school vouchers, home
schooling, billionaire tax breaks, nude pig piles, Breaking News, the
Situation Room, CNBCs Closing Bell and High End Living?

Believe it. Its a whole new ball game. Earthshaking. Homeland Security
renamed Homeland Hilarious. No more sour airport greetings by surly,
identity checks, presumptuous luggage searches. Everybody warmly
welcomed with sexist racial kneeslappers pulled from secret background
profiles. John Wayne renamed I Love Lucy Airport. Ronald Reagan
Building now Iran Contra Complex. American Enterprise Institute
morphed into Dick Cheney Early Warning American Fascist Watchtower.

CIA abolished. FBI reigned in. Everybody enjoying generous health care,
fat pensions, authentic education, 24 karat human rights. Bridges safe
to cross. Air okay to breathe. Americans welcomed everywhere. Because
its the dawning of the New Age. Bright happy well-adjusted America.
Pentagon in its proper place. Talkshows talking real freedom, spouting
genuine democracy. No fear. No cheap partisan exploitation of 911,
Armageddon, healthy family life, illegal immigration. Ralf Nader,
Secretary of Consumer Affairs. Allen Ginsberg, Secretary of Defence.
Lenny Bruce on the three dollar bill. Rational self-interest replaced by,
Hey Man, hows it goin?
Tokyo, Monday, 11/03/08

Book Launch Party Scene 1 (jz)

Photo: Dancers at Donald Richie's "Botandoro" book launch party Nov. 2, Tokyo jz

Book Launch Party Scene 2 (jz)

Photo: Dancers at Donald Richie's "Botandoro" book launch party Nov. 2, Tokyo jz

Motel of Lost Companions by Hillel Wright (Japan Times Oct. 26)

Motel of Lost Companions
Keep a grip on what passes for reality as you check into this strangely normal fiction story for fall by Hillel Wright

It was a foolish argument . . . the worst kind of argument too, over food. And not even food exactly, but over salad dressing.

She'd left his dinner on the table while she was out shopping for groceries. There was a bowl of yakisoba noodles and a plate of gyoza dumplings to heat up in the microwave. And there was a salad. Not a very fancy salad, just lettuce, tomato wedges, grated carrot, cucumber and slices of hard-boiled egg. The salad was in a medium-size bowl, an individual serving. Next to the salad was a small plastic pitcher of dressing. It looked and smelled like one of her homemade concoctions of olive oil, rice vinegar, garlic, diced tofu and a dollop of Caspian yogurt. It looked like a lot of dressing for one salad, but then again it might not have just been for a single serving.

It presented a classic avoidance-avoidance conflict: avoid her displeasure if he didn't eat everything she so painstakingly prepared for him; avoid her anger if he didn't leave her half the dressing.

So it was a foolish decision that led to the foolish argument.

He'd gone out to the library after dinner and then over to the International Center to use the free 30 minutes of Internet service available there. He could just check his e-mail and leave their home computer free for her to use when she got back from shopping. She liked to search for punk-music performances on YouTube or play violent video games like "Postal" or "Grand Theft Auto." She said they helped her to relax. She was, after all, old enough — at 34 — to be able to distinguish fantasy from reality. He didn't suspect she'd ever actually go on a shooting rampage in Yokohama or Tokyo. For one thing, where would she get a gun?

Read the rest of Hillel Wright's story in the Japan Times

Let's dance (jz)


Photo: Dancers will kick up their heels and show their stuff at Donald Richie's book launch event at What the Dickens pub Sunday Nov 2 in Ebisu. jz

An electric flower (jz)


Photo: The Clockwork Flowers. Will be playing Nov 2, Donald Richie's book launch event at What the Dickens pub in Ebisu. jz

Kiss from a witch (jz)

And all I got that night
was just a kiss
A single--
A single fatal kiss that she planted--
planted on my lips

And it all happened so fast
it happened in just a flash in time
the poison kiss that she planted--
A single fatal kiss that she planted--
planted on my lips

I should have known better
I should have been on my guard
put up my defenses
and fortified my heart
against such a possibility
the possibliity of what--
of what even a simple innocent kiss--
a simple innocent kiss can bring

looking into her eyes
her eyes immediately lured me--
like a sirens song, lured me inside,
Awakening my desires
luring my lips
And . . .

And as soon as our lips met
I knew I was a hooked
I was like a helpless voodoo doll.
the kiss--
the kiss was like a needle
and the needle went straight --
straight, deep into my heart.
I was the voodoo doll--
I was the voodoo doll and the victim
at the same time

Immediately, I felt a tingling
Just before the fever took hold
and I shook on the inside
a strange chill that ran up and down--
up and down my spine
A love-spell is--
is a strange, uncurable disease

Now I --
I can't think-- think straight
I can't eat
I can't sleep
Now I can only contemplate
What has happened to me
That she must be some kind of witch
For what
for what-- she has done to me
Possessed as any man can be.

And all I can think about
is the poison kiss that she planted--
planted on my lips

And all I got that night
was a kiss--
A single fatal kiss that she planted--
planted on my lips

A single fatal kiss
the poison kiss that she planted--
she planted on my lips

"JOE JOB" by Hillel Wright (Contributor)


Joe Six-Pak
Joe the Plumber
Joe Average
G.I. Joe
Ordinary Joe
Shoeless Joe

Say it ain't so, Joe!

Anchor what? (jz)


Photo: In Phuket, Thailand. Oct. 19 jz

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