I've got my hoodie on--
It's cold and dark, and it's pissin' rain
Don't blame me for the weather
Don't blame me because it's night
I've got my hoodie on --
I've got my sneakers and sweatpants on too
The gray hood pulled over my head to keep me warm,
to protect me from the cold.
Don't blame me for the clothes I wear.
I've got my hoodie on--
You can't tell if I'm black or white
Why do I look like some kind of thief?
Don't blame me because when I was born,
I couldn't choose the color of my skin.
I've got my hoodie on--
And I belong here, just as much as you
My Right to resist.
Your "Right" to carry a gun.
Everyone is afraid. Why?
The shooting of Trayvon Martin took place on February 26, 2012, in Sanford, Florida. Trayvon Martin was an unarmed, 17-year-old African American male who was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, a 28-year-old Hispanic community watch coordinator.
I love Candy
Because she is so sweet
she dissolves in my mouth
Sometimes I call her Sugar
Sometimes I call her Bit- O-Honey
When we are alone
hold her like an M&M
Who says she doesn't melt in my hand?
Giving her many Hersey kisses
sucking on her shapes
licking her like a lolly pop
tasting her flavors
I love candy
White, milk or dark chocolate
You see, I don't discriminate based on color
it's all about the ingredients inside
She's my Sugar Baby
my Baby Ruth
my Mounds bar
my Almond Joy
Sometimes she feels like a nut inside
I don't mind
Sometimes I just love to find the surprise --
the surprise of what she is really like inside
Bring a friend
we can play 3 Musketeers
I love candy
sometimes she's a Whitman's sampler
when she's looking all dolled up
All neat in that pretty box
tied up in a red bow
wrapped like a present
about to give herself to me
And I'm in awe
drooling like a kid
I love candy
What sweetness will she have for me today?
Knowing I'm saving the covered cherry
And it's been said that after you die,
you go to the place where you where before you were born.
But this is not a particular soothing thought to me.
As I can't remember that long ago - the time before I was born
I can hardly remember --
Heck, I can hardly remember what I did last week.
Because then again, there is the story of heaven and hell
Neither provides a logical answer to the mystery of death to me
I mean how hot--
how hot can hell be?
Heaven on the other hand...
On the surface, heaven does sound like a pretty dreamy place
looking down at you all.
But what happens if I want to look up an old friend?
What address would I give with everyone living on Paradise Street
What activities are there to do at night?
Suppose there is only one kind of beer on tap?
And are we all supposed to sit around and sing hymns about Him?
After a while, if we didn't question it
heaven would just be a nightmare...
but one for all eternity
Reincarnation is yet another theory
It sounds spiritual and all
that we all come back again.
My luck I'll back as a dodo bird, or something worse.
perhaps starting out as some tiny one cell organism
and having work my way up the food chain
living, suffering, dying
living, suffering, dying
living, suffering, dying
over and over again--
over and over again for a thousand years.
Finally becoming a boy again
only to get killed in one of those silly-ass wars of yours.
What will sex be like in the year 3000?
Will we continue to fuck and multiply or do it some other way
to keep our species going
or will we becoming extinct?
We don't know the future--
what science has in store for the living at the time.
Time will tell
because I can't.
Dear Friends & Colleagues,
The Book Launch Party for River Road, the sequel to Border Town will be a Sunday Brunch at the Pink Cow ("http://www.thepinkcow.com" www.thepinkcow.com) in Shibuya, Tokyo on Sunday, April 8 from 12 Noon to 4:00 PM. The admission is 3500Yen and includes the full Brunch Buffet + a signed (if desired) copy of River Road.
Border Town (2006) told the story of fictional manga artist Fumie Akahoshi who becomes rich & famous in Japan. In an act of hubris she creates a manga which implicates the Emperor in the WWII “comfort women” scandal. As a result, the Right Wingers hire the Yakuza to assassinate her. At the end of the novel she has disappeared.
River Road tells the story of Fumie’s abandoned daughter Angelica Akahoshi who becomes a famous graphic novelist at a remarkably young age. In her 20s she begins a world-wide search for her lost mother who she strongly believes is still alive. A short, cryptic telepathic message from Fumie spurs her on, following story clues along the “river road”.
Readings will begin at 1:00 PM. Guest readers include Alan Botsford, Frank Spignese, Hans Brinckmann, Jeremiah Dutch, John Gribble, Wally Gagne, Wayne Pounds and Yuri Kageyama. Taylor Mignon will MC. An open mike will begin at 3:00 PM as time allows.
Please RSVP / ASAP so the Pink Cow staff will know how much food to prepare. Feel free to post on Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. and to invite your friends and colleagues. Looking forward to seeing you on April 8
I get it, be what you say, say what you mean
write what you feel think see
Do not spout from the mouth of the history of others
Singing songs unowned, overgrown, words thrown, wanton
I am the words, fight me, bite me excite me
Or fuck off, impolitely, to a space you never fucking own
And breathe words not your own and hope someone turns the sun on
Because you do nothing valuable, nor invaluable
Priceless in your pointlessness
Pricking the conscience instead of consigning the pricks
To a hell they deserve, full of their own voices
Jabbering, selfish, stupid fucking shellfish of an existence.
Everything happened in one week.
nothing happened in one week.
Even more cried.
People ran their lives.
One week flew by so fast,
I hardly recall what I did,
but watch the tv in disbelief.
Life goes on
One year later,
Selfishly, my anxiety has all but vanished
But when the earth shakes, I recall Mar. 11
and for a second or two
reflect on my own mortality
One year later,
two minutes of silence is all they get.
Life goes on.
It's a cold, cold world
You don't think so?
I tell you, it's a cold world
especially -- especially when it snows.
I could write about how each flake falls silently into its rightful place.
O me, O Life, what a white peaceful blanket thou make
But does it keep me warm?
Each of us are in the middle of a storm
what philosophers and poets call "Life."
And this storm rages from morning to night
The human predicament that gives assholes like me something to write
Oh, the pain
This cold cruel world invades my brain
a razor's edge
Cliché sharp, and shit like that.
Why be optimistic?
After all, we're all gonna die someday.
blah, blah blah
It's far easier to write a pessimistic poem anyway.
So, I should change my tune
and write about this wondrous blue Earth of ours?
Birds and bees
but I always forget to add mankind in natural landscapes like these
(I wonder why.)
How about if I write a love poem?
I'll be cupid playing the harp
words tugging at the heartstrings
making the girls weak in the knees
How can I fuck thee?
Let me count the ways
Well here's a start: the original Kama Sutra illustrates 64
though I can watch porn on the internet and discover a whole lot more
So, I just want to say that words--
words don't mean shit
It's how you feel inside.
Either be the poem or
you are just sounding off
that noisy piehole of yours.
I'm an anachronism, out of time, out of place
Out of mind, out of the game and out of space
and yet the old hunger is still there, in the gut
in the soul, in the sinews and down in the mud
being in the gutter, blasted, dirty is good enough for me
you can keep your gutter seen stars Oscar, I like dirty
The clouds keeping pace with the wind, no control there
Still bet their cloudy egos let them believe all's fair
and that they are choosing there own directions cleverly
and that as they fly by a distant cumulus pal it's not serendipity
But their home made, rainless, blue sky destiny.
Well, sorry to say you cloudy freaks
You filled with self belief, formless geeks
That it's all out of control
wake up and fly agianst the wind.
My old flame
how it used to burn bright
at least that's how
I remember it.
My old flame
doesn't burn as bright.
and that's what they call
Now in the morning mirror
I can hardly recognize
I don't want to count--
count the wrinkles
on my face
And I don't want to count
I took along the way
I recall when my old flame used to...
she used to...
well, you know.
I peer down
Smiling at the sight of your open jar
All wet and sticky inside
Waiting to be eaten
golden brown delight
You look to good to be true
My mouth waters
I smack my lips
I'm so hungry for you
Now that I have you in my palm
To eat you. I don't need a knife
or a spoon
no jams and jellies
but I just want to stick my tongue in there
and scoop out some of you.
I have to have you
I will grind you - slowly
You see, common everyday fakes like Jif just ain't my style
Whether you are creamy or chunky,
And indeed Skippy spreads easy
But I read the label carefully
full of fructose and sodium
And stuff I don't understand
I want the real deal
I want the 100 percent organic nuts
I say, if you got it, then spread it, baby
I want you-- I want you like
I want an open peanut butter sandwich
on whole wheat bread and a glass of cold milk
You taste like heaven.
You feed me schezuan chicken.
Your chopsticks resting on my tongue.
It’s going to be a good year.
Chinese new year, beckoning the other side of a heavy weekend
I hear a man, talking of his mistress..."like an axe wound in a poodle"
He obviously loves her and her somewhat canine nether regions
The joys of alcohol with the tatste of ether, chinese white spirit breath
And the bells rang in some temple, the neighbours complain, deaf gods
Sweet pork, signs reading "this is pork" so non-pork eaters don't err and scoff heretically
I'll happily head to hell, bacon sandwich in one hand, inverted cross in the other
And the guys in the bar next door try and convince locals to blow them
The locals try and convince the lads they are real and human
The huge scaly dragon image stares down, uncaring, spitting water not fire
The lamps glow, cheaply, make-up shines and erections die as the booze drowns eros completely
Brand new shiny chariot cars roll on, drunken drivers looking for dead kids
The hookers stare everyone down with "go on, fuck me then" eyes, mascara blurred
The bells ring some more, like an old headmasters voice, deep, hollow and annoying
"I'll have the same again" someone says to a hooker, no gins, no grins, just business
My guinness is flat, my legs ache and it's a no smoking bar, so I head outside to watch the dragon dance.
She always cried at the moon, it looked so lonely
She was caring like that, she hated to see even a single lost shoe
Everything should be in pairs, but the moon stood tearful, alone
She loved the moon dearly, she knew it loved her too
Silvered beams would caress her through her cracked leaded window
She'd turn her pillow over, cold side up, a pretend moon to rest on
To talk to, to cuddle the absolute loneliness away
She loved the moon being lonely, she hoped nobody would live there
It was her lonely moon, she wanted it lonely, then she'd not be lonely alone
She'd sleep in the daytime, moon loving vampire like
Though she hated the sight of blood, moons don't bleed
She does, she hates her blood, yet it's so pretty, arms carved, like the moon's face
Cigarrette burned craters pitting porcelain white skin
Just like her moon, cratered, hanging alone waiting on nothing
And as everyone waits for the inevitable end, the white marble quietness of death
She smiles, the moon endures, cold and distant, but resolute and so here she'll stay
Until the moon lets her leave, she's brave like that, beautiful bravery, insane.
Crying at the icy window, nobody outside
Her warm fingers trace patterns of hearts
That soon melt away with the softest of breath
Just like her own, she is so tired
Vacant, oh so vacant, the stare that unlocks the bathroom
Cold, tired fingers turning old tired taps, begging for tepid water
To warm her chilled heart streams and Bering sea blood
She uses no cheap poundshop bubble bath today, hard soap cleans
A valve in her mind shattered, like an old guitar amp feedback burn
Too many old albums, she never really liked cds, tapes she could stand
Her feet warmed slightly by the water, her love still frozen in minds ice
She laughs at the pubic nastiness of her razor and awaits the last winter
She was a lovely lady.
It's all connected, the paranoid know a little of what is going on
Hair do Kim snuffs it while the throngs weep invalid
Europe gets fucked off by the dead empire
I dreamt of Richard Nixon, mate of Mao, enemy of cancer
Vinyl makes another comeback as the record stores close
The spacemen land and demand to see the manager
Mails go unanswered, I've done something wrong
ex-wives find love and despair, measures equal
Wives of the now laugh and a bell rings, perfumed mornings
Crisp packet like bed sheets betray the wanker who slept before
Talent shows on magic lanterns make me violent
Drugs keep the calm anger ripe and ready to fall from the brain tree
Whisky still burns my throat, single malt indigestion
The nerves of the new year and the spatter of hopeless hope
The waking tendril arms of deja vu slap listlessly upon cheeks red
New watches, family entertainment system for the single man
The dead christmas tree turns all lord of the ringy in my nightmare
bauble covered skeletal despair filling the post christmas night
And still Kim Jong's hair looks like one bong too many
Family traits, follicle, insane.
I wonder why,why I am writing
to whom I am writing and then it dawns
the crack in the sky the opening mind eye
to you obviously, it's the why defeats me
alongside the meaning.
The pseuds are out, in every bar, never brawling
From over educated slimy lips clever words are falling
Ears search for plugs, the sensible among us for drugs
To block out the drivel dribbled out by the pseud mugs
"Have you read the..by the...", "my view is...cleverly"
Ignorance is the politeness in this hated reverie
A memory clouded by the pub clever men, studenty dour
Long coats, berets float on to top of heads dull and sour
Smelling of eastern oils, the philosophy of hypocrisy
The "we know best" sewage pours all over me
And I start to boil, I start to foam, I am working
And 38 year old students are still blurting
About the fact that they are still learning
As if my life has no educational meaning
The pseuds annoy, the pseuds destroy
With words spitting faster than the babies toys
flying from a million prams, as you say "hey pseud"
"I do mean to be incredibly rude"
When I say "fuck off"
3. Recourse (March 11, 2011)
March 11, 2011 and three fishermen
are out at sea
off the northeast coast of Japan.
Let's call them Kikuchi, Sasaki
& Suzuki— common family names
of the region.
At 1440 hours
they hear the earthquake warning
and 15 minutes later
the tsunami warning.
They hear the jisshin was 9.2
on the Japanese scale
but how can that be?
The scale goes only
up to 7.
Kikuchi, the leader, tells
Sasaki & Suzuki
to head out to sea
"We must meet the wave head-on,"
he tells them.
"It's our only recourse —
there's nowhere else to go."
Half an hour later
they see the wave
a rolling mountain
on the far horizon
or rather, obliterating
the horizon altogether.
All together they head for the wave.
"90 degrees," Kikuchi warns them.
"Make sure to take it head-on —
The boats and the wave move
inexorably toward each other
steadily, no hurry
like two old lovers
meeting by chance
on a lonely city sidewalk
"Keep your eyes on the wave"
Kikuchi tells them
"Head-on, head-on, 90 degrees —
don't be afraid."
Head-on, head-on, Kikuchi meets the wave
and climbs, the boat
bends over backward
rises like a rocket
to the celestial crest
then - over the top —
and the long slide down
the back of this brontosaurus
of the sea.
Out the starboard window
he spots Sasaki
"Good job, Sasaki-san," he spouts
in the radio mike
Out the port side window
he sees the roiling sea.
"Can you see Suzuki?" he calls.
Sasaki doesn't answer.
"Sasaki," he calls again
"Sasaki—can you hear me?
"Sasaki!" he cries
"Can you hear me?"
"I hear you."
2. Fear & Rumor (June11, 2011)
We’ve been waiting for three days
here on Tokashiki Island
in the Ryukyus
Finally, a tuna boat comes in -
the Mayu Maru, Captain Fujiwara
He’s got three yellowfin tuna –
two juveniles – Okinawans
call them shibi -
and one adult
It’s 35 kilos, sashimi grade
a beautiful fish if truth be told
it gleams in the sun
lifts it from the hold.
Captain Tamaki, of the Fishing Co-op
on the cell-phone
looking for a buyer.
They used to sell to Taipei & Shanghai
but no more – Taiwan & China
refuse all seafood from Japan.
“We’re in the East China Sea, for God’s sake”
says Captain Tamaki, “Over a thousand miles
from Fukushima – and still
they won’t buy our fish”
An hour passes
finally, a buyer in Manila
In Shanghai this fish is worth
a thousand dollars
Manila offers seven-fifty
Captain Fujiwara accepts
“Shipping costs will be higher too”
1. Recovery (September11, 2011)
The harbor is clean
There is no damage to be seen
except some cracks
in the concrete
of the breakwater
across the bay
But that could have come
from anywhere –
a coastal freighter
dragging its mooring
in a summer typhoon.
Where is the debris –
the garbage & wreckage
of the earthquake
the flotsam & jetsam
of the killer wave?
I know the answer –
I’ve seen the trash mountain
rising out of a rice field
from the railway platform
the last stop before the end of the line
here in Oarai.
The huge Kubota traxcavators
climbing the refuse mountain
look like Tonka Toys
in a little boy’s backyard.
This mountain is the harbor
and the waterfront
of Oarai – forty fishing boats
bent & twisted car doors
houses deconstructed into muddy junk.
But the harbor now is clean
The work of hundreds -
volunteers, patriots of Oarai
fishermen, City Hall clerks
heavy equipment operators
high school athletes
teachers, parents, visitors
from Tokyo & Kobe & Katmandu
And now the harbor is clean
Then the silence cracks
breaks like a wooden house
in the jaws of the jisshin
as the Japanese call “earthquake”
as two fishing boats round the point
and enter the clean silent harbor
from the Pacific
and the muffled rumble of their engines
brings the silent immaculate harbor to life.
They are not big boats –
4.9 ton registry
to avoid paying the higher fees
of the 5 to 10 ton fleet
They’ve been dragging for whitebait
which the Japanese call shirasu
They eat them raw or steamed
as topping for bowls of rice
garnished with thin yellow strips
with pickled daikon radish
and miso shiru on the side.
Do I dare eat a serving for lunch?
I’m served a bowl of rice with topping
the Japanese call this donburi
the topping is steamed shirasu
the Japanese call this dish
The Japanese say “Umai!”
After lunch I visit the Fisheries Office
with the Town Clerk.
They apologize – they can’t give me
any data – all their records
their computers – washed away
They tell me there were 105 boats
in the fishery
29 were damaged or destroyed
or washed away
Most were fishing, out to sea
but most of those in the harbor
were damaged or destroyed
or washed away.
Today, six months on
80 boats are able to fish
but most are not fishing
they sit in the immaculate harbor
The weather outside has become cold
and inside the television's glow
the forecast of the season's first winter storm
sleet and snow
My priority is heat
various means of body warmth:
electric or gas
heating fans and fireplaces
vents and baseboards
But no matter the season--
no matter the temperature outside
my baby, she blows hot and cold.
It's the unpredictability
I don't care for:
this woman thing
Where nonchalantly she says:
"It's my character, that's all."
I make it a point to press her buttons with my remote
dinner and wine
candles and compliments
dessert of course
But, I'm lucky if the light goes on.
I say, "What the heck?"
I swear something--
something must be broke.
when I've almost given up
thinking: well, I don't have the right stuff
she will unexpectedly be turned on
I'll tell ya this game--
this game with her:
Man, it is getting old
You see, I just--
I just never know
My baby, she blows hot and cold.
The faces stare back, grim and unfocused
Looking for inspiration, frogs buried in the desert
Dry and waiting for the deluge
Ideas bereft, no imagination, nothing left
And the clouds contain nothing but old sand
This boredom, this living death sentence
Arrived at on trains and buses world over
Offices, factories, sweat shops and cafes
Broken hearts cling to each other
For the goodness of paper fiat dreams
The currency of our lives no longer emotional
No longer communal
There is no dog eat dog, who cares?
Hunting and gathering coins and notes
Hearts and minds just dust motes
In this incomprehensible mish mash
Love? It lies where? Or is it a lie, lying deathly pale
Under moneyed eyelids
And the children cry for another game
And the tinsel glints like bloodied entrails
A new toy, a new this and that
And the parents drink another school uniform
In the pub of our darkest day
And the milkman has gone
And the postman wants his Christmas tip
And I am tired of all of it
Whoever invented Christmas should be fucking nailed up.
The winter excites me, chilled and wrapped in melancholy blankets old
Waiting for the morning frosts and fog swirls ankle deep
The girl, cold in the corner shop, eyes of malachite glinting
I always wanted to take her by the hand, go somewhere better
There was nowhere to go, we were both just winter specters
Looking for warmth, but loving the bite of winter’s ruinous mouth
The acrocephalic boy building a pin head snowman laughing
The dead girl in the lake, shimmering like an ancient ice queen
The ridiculous aged flamfoo, winter clothed as if it’s still 1975
Flares and snow do not a good match make
I remember screaming that we were mainly in the 90s now
Angels on sidewalks, soft snow shadows of children
The cold always brings us closer together, you curl across my back.
I am always upset by those lonely single gloves, lost on pavements cracked
I wonder how many people are cursed with the same separation?
Winter brings us together, unless you’re completely alone
Winter brings us together, unless you’re self hate makes you invisible
I love your hands in winter, cold on my thigh and the small of my back
I love your cheek, chilled and pressed hard against mine, sipping the warmth
The cold skeletal trees grasping for one another across parks and old roads
Like the dead stretching out for that final warm touch of the living
The 3 bars on the electric fire on, 30 minutes in the morning and 30 before bed
Electricity seemed more valuable then.
Memories and present time always get lost in my winters
I’m glad you are a part of so many of them
Naked in a frozen wilderness, your eyes in my mind would keep me warm
A squirrel dances, snow showering, up a tree as your smile opens the door.
He hits her daily, sometimes with love in his fist and sometimes with ugly fear
But never with hate, he loves her, she believes him with every bruised tear
I see them every day, holding hands, walking secretly in their anti biblical love
Their wives cook dinner, a daughter wants to be thinner, the lies fall breathless from above
The starving man howls as he creeps and he cowers at the rubbish from the burger joint
The pimpled teenage boy smiling thin, padlocks the dead grey rubbish bin, he blindly misses the point
The business prick prowls and into his mobile phone he scowls as he cuts another huge deal
His secretary laughs at yet another Hermes scarf that he hopes her heart will steal
The four horsemen appear, through dark clouds of fear and stare around with scabrous eyes cruel
Death looks at famine and war and asked "what are we here for?" and pestilence says it feels like a "fool"
Something from Calling All Shadows, go buy it up on the left there! U skinny rats!
Brought to mind by Stupid Boy by the inimitable JZ and republished nere by kind permission of the author, me.
The old faces of the comfortable shopping places are all closed down
Gone are all the old stalls, replaced by torpid, faceless malls, in this town
The worn velvet sofa in the old Mom and Pop’s coffee shops are rotten and gone
The corporate greens of business mens dreams are where we get coffee from
The burger stands are outmanned by the signs in red and gold
The grocer’s farm fresh veg has lost its edge and falls into a freezer cold
We kill community with impunity.
When all we need is some unity.
To get back what we’ve lost.
Twenty five kinds of lager they had
Only two were in stock, beautiful disaster
The Chinese British pub, ducks feet in onion gravy
Side of lumpy mashed potatoes and mao tai
Oh the cultural implications, beautiful disaster
Bar staff grinning, Ripper like, ready to steel extra yuan
from the implausibly quiet western man, beautiful disaster
My iphone, company bought, described as "stupid"
The next stool sat salesman could have got me 12 local ones
you guessed it, beautiful disaster
And a beautifully disaterous girl staggers through darkened doors
Made up and doll like, a massage for all, a message to me
Yeah yeah, a beautiful disaster
The round european blimp, more lumpy than the mash
His eyes searing "suck me" pellets as his snidely checks his cash
A fat fuck of a beautiful disaster
Odd couple, they leave, the space between the doors mirror the moment
Empty, yawning, their closure as obvious as the european leaving
with his beautifully cheap disaster
An Indian Chelsea fan, drunken turban askew asks where he can get a curry
More ducks feet appear, curry sauce and more mao tai
Cullinary culturally a real beautiful disaster
And the taxi ride home, head swimming at olympic pace
I feel sicker than a penniless slot machine
And as the taxi spins faster through this beautiful disaster
I realise what a pretty, calamitous evening I have seen.
And disaster is relative, beautiful or not, it's only a word...right?
So I went see Mr. Satori again, if you remember him from my old blogs. He was there in his shop as usual - off in the far end of the room sitting on his dark purple zabuton in the lotus position on the same two-foot raised tatami platform. His eyes closed with a half-full saké cup in from of him.
He didn't sir as I opened the old-fashion sliding wood and fogged glass entrance door to his coffee shop - appropriately named Zen Coffee.
I stepped in. Paper shoji covered the two windows letting the outside light in but blocked out any view to the street Four tables and stools for unlikely customers fit in the small room. And where the tables were, the floor was concrete. This was not that unusual for a Japanese mom-and-pop shop serving ramen or drinking spot "a snack" for salarymen. But then again, Zen Coffee is not a usual shop either.
The room was nearly barren. You see Mr Satori's Zen Coffee shop had to be that way. His shop doesn't even serve green tea.
Over the years that I have infrequently visited this shop, Mr. Satori has looked pretty much the same - very little change with age. Perhaps he was always already old. His long white beard was a little longer, but not much. I wonder if he ever trims it. His long white hair pulled back - looking like an eccentric brother of Mr. Miagi in Karate Kid.
Mr. Satori served only one kind of coffee - black, served in a small cup with no handle. You might say Zen Coffee is 180 degrees from Starbucks which has at least 20 different flavors of coffee and 5 different sizes - plus all those scrumptious expensive snacks. But it is also often hard to get a seat at Starbucks.
Zen Coffee is unique. Coffee served with koans, not scones, if you get my drift.
Either something had been bothering me or I just wanted to see the old geezer for some odd reason again. Anyway it was I who came to him and not he coming to me. Or simply I was looking for something different from the usual Starbucks and the like coffee shops clones.
My eyes scanned the room looking to the best seat in the house, not that any particular one table would have made much a difference in this one small room. Anyway, I chose the table sort of nearest to where Mr. Satori was sitting and parked my ass down. Mr. Satori continued to sit in the lotus position. Eyes closed.
I was always pretty much amazed by those people you can sit in that zazen position - A. I'm not that flexible; B. the position is not natural; and C. I just can't do it - never could, never will.
After I picked my seat and settled in, Mr. Satori opened his eyes. and recognized who I was - or maybe not. I was just another customer - though perhaps he has very few customers these days. In those few times I have gone there, I've only ever seen one or two customers.
But before I could say a word or order my coffee. Mr. Satori asked, "If you were to find enlightenment then what would you do?"
It was unusual for him to start of with such a question - a zen koan if you will. In the past, before bringing the coffee, he would first come over and whack me on the head with his bamboo stick and call me "Stupid boy". So, I was a bit surprised by his new shop's strategy.
OK I'll play. I thought to myself. I mean, how can I be one with the universe and everything in it? I can't grasp the Milky Way which our own galaxy let alone trying to get a handle on infinity and beyond. Also I have no interest in becoming one with my cat's litter box.
"A coffee" was how I replied to his question about enlightenment.
I thought for minute before asking, "So Mr. Satori, so how do you become one with the universe?"
Mr. Satori came bearing my cup of coffee. He put it down at the table next to were I was sitting and in a flash pulled out his stick which he had tucked in is obi belt, and whacked me on the head.
"Stupid Boy," he said.
Frankly at that moment I was a bit pissed off. The customer is always right. And this is Japan.
Then I thought about Starbucks around the corner and down the street, and their coffee served in paper cups with plastic lids.
I reached over to the next table and picked up the black coffee in the simple cup he had purposefully prepared for me.
Golden brown leaves
on stiff autumn branches
rustling in the wind
I stop and take notice
to watch them fall
She came in the spring
stayed though the summer
but left in the fall.
Button my winter coat
and turn away
the wind in my face.
Disconnected from the birthplace
Wandering, grin intact, but like curtains
hiding the dark on the window's other side
A shelf filled with a wealth of books
I'd need to live all over again to read them
A sad thought, obstructed by my disconnect
Skulls stand gaily on sideboards
Luckily no wax dribbled wine bottles remain
A night time of youth, disappears, waxing moon
There are no longer any bicycles in my house
and the space hopper burst on it's way to the graveyard
Rizla packs and old mugs, a sex pistols rare single
It's rarity no longer pleases, obstructed by my disconnect
I'll never buy another wedding album
That should make me happy, I have two already
A gored child's face stares blank from the CD rack
I used to love those songs, obstructed by my disconnect
The rise and fall of Reginald, or was it Ziggy?
The memory held back by a broken path
My old brain, swiss cheese or scratched record
I can't recall my first love's face, obstructed by my disconnect
I remember the first time I heard the word "nigger"
It upset my Mother more than "cunt", I felt proud
Paki bashing skinheads beaten up by gay pride gang
I used to dream such beautiful things
Now it's all sex and zombies, obstructed by my disconnect
My partner smiles and for a second things fit into place
I take a book from the shelf, one already read
I will start again, maybe there's time
The glorious friend with a salty custard Grandma
His laugh sometimes rings out when the silence bites
I try so hard to obstruct my disconnections
LET NOT anyone tear us apart, my sons gleam in the distance
"'til the sun burns out!" I told her a thousand times
I hope she's happy, smiling at some new car
Mind open, riverlike memories clash, no order
my Father laughs, like glorious thunder, a great man
A shadow of such length, it spans my life thus far
Beans on toast, a feast of unemployment, obstructed by my disconnect
Still there is no order, nor ever should there be
Ordered chaos? Oxymoronic theories abound
And still Joe Strummer is dead
Elvis is working in Clapham
and 2011 nears the time to close it's eyes
And put another book on my overflowing shelf of dreams.
Woken up by Iggy Pop
He's got a cock in his pocket
i remember open up and bleed painfully
Aurally, physically, one time sexually, Gita was her name
Went to sleep with David Bowie, in a quicksand of dreams
Boogie with Hooker, John Lee and Mai Ling
Different folks, penis strokes
Music fills everything for me
Alongside the inevitable words
Crazied on by Burroughs, drawling saxophone syringe
Out clevered by Cocteau
Upset by Celine, no fascists please, of his time, out of line
Stephen Hawking failed his physical
But destroyed another God and found his own universe
Paper, plastic, vinyl, celluloid visions
Not interfering internet
Tear jerking happiness
with a side of reality
Lou Reed laughing at my velvet underpants
The tunes ring out
And the words live on
I need electric friends like a bicycle needs an ashtray