Shibuya calling.

Shibuya calling.

Ghosts of a festival.

Ghosts of a festival.

The Ashikaga clouds getting all Kurosawa with it.

The Ashikaga clouds getting all Kurosawa with it.

Shinjuku evening.

Shinjuku evening.

How the east was won

The East was won by being first.

By carving enormous beings into the walls of stone cliffs.

By claiming the sun as her own.

By painting legends over the fibres of gold tapestries.

By tangling war with art.

By making poetry the key to religion

and to armies.

By treating language as a sword.

By taking offense to a dirty look.

By severing ties on a whim.

On bad mustard.

By forsaking love for power.

Turning ambition into castles

and artifacts and the kinds of things

that tourists now Instagram for granted.

By respecting tradition.

By inventing tradition.

By inventing numbers.

So that we can all keep score

and understand how much we’re losing by.

By distilling the sun to fire.

And making it a play thing

to celebrate inevitable victories.

By speaking lies with authority.

At gun point and missile tip.

By setting clocks to untruth.

By bending reality in convenient directions.

By organizing.

and memorizing.

and cloning bodies and virtues alike.

And now the sun sets.

The fireworks erupt.

The tapestries stand tall.

Ambition unravels.

Another victory is implied.

Nike Japan - Just Do It ‘Your Step’

Ramen Inferno

Blistering heat

and a battlefield of melted tastebuds.

Drops of sweat

deployed from my brow.

My forearms.

My eyebrows

and other places I didn’t know carried reserves of sweat.

I take the icy rag

barbarically paste it to my face.

To hide and find relief.

Then let it slide down,

Down

Down

Down

Only to reveal the culprit.

My nemesis.

A snickering, red-faced,

powerfully well-fed beast of humanity.

With eyebrows worthy of a Kurosawa tight shot.

He guffaws his indifference.

But the glint in his eye betrays his excitement.

For another nameless gaijin

has been slain at the hands of his infernal ramen.

Cicada Song

Your symphony is in full swing.

But I didn’t sign up for this concert.

I liked some of your early work.

But now your 24 hour drone sounds 

somehow more commercial.

I’ve even heard you in the ambient sound design

of some Sapporo beer spot.

We get it.

You’re the soundtrack of Tokyo summer.

Literally.

This is not new information.

I went to my first cicada concert in St. Louis.

When you guys opened for the 

Lightning Bugs.

That made me feel alive.

But now your violins have grown dull.

You lack the conviction you once had.

Maybe you’ve been ordered around one time too many.

Or maybe you’ve grown depressed

and long to return to summers long gone.

Maybe your annoying assault

expresses the pain and ugliness you feel inside.

Maybe my ears aren’t sophisticated

enough to realize your genius.

Maybe my heart is too calloused

to extract the emotional truth

within your rusty razor’s edge tune.

But in this moment,

over this newspaper,

with this glass of cold milk.

I wish for the cicada intermission

that will not come.

Until winter does.

Morning commute.

Morning commute.

Shibuya nights.

Shibuya nights.

Tengu

Broom stick-nosed mountain god.

Ruddy cheeked.

Unkempt straw hair.

Frozen laugh of madness,

or loneliness,

upon your lips.

Do you laugh at what you have done?

Or what you have seen?

Friend of Raccoon and Snake.

And Mountain Beasts.

Your dwelling is forest green,

but your face is fire red.

There is no camouflaging your intentions.

You came to haunt.

To provoke.

To wreak great nightmares upon hikers

and bandits from other realms.

But you’ve ended up a child’s plaything.

A thin plastic mask for sale at a festival.

Pass the yakisoba please.

For those who can’t carry a tune, now you can at least wear one.

For those who can’t carry a tune, now you can at least wear one.

Tengu

Tengu

It’s better as a vertical.

It’s better as a vertical.

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