Category Archives: Writing Collections

a library in process holding collection of my writing projects including expository essays, articles for counter-culture magazine, sudden fiction and freeverse poetry – organized by form or collection

O-furo with #io + #poem

I have very rudimentary arithmetic / math skills but I do know:

Ichiro is 41-ish months old so about 1,230 days +/-

So, minus days when he was brand-new baby or i was critically ill / crashed &/or mom/jiji/baba filled-in, we’ve *easily* passed the 1000 bath threshold. 38°C in summer 42°C +/- in winter.

he’s much bigger now, not so appropriate for public snapshots :)

Bonus: bit of poem snippet

Question mark eyebrows
Old man shuffle walk
Baba Jiji Sho-sho
Double ups words to talk

Skipping walking
From crawling to running in a flash
The best hour of every day
When we slow down in bathtime
Reciting introductions to ancestors

Bonus: not just baths, also kitchen

yes, he was using that big knife, safely

Poem / notes: ‘recalling a scene’ #handwritten #draft

I’m always filling up notebooks: sometimes there’s a “system” where I have one that’s like a diary, another a scrapbook of a ephemera stuck in with tape and glue, another for logistical annotations, another for *pure poetry endeavors* or sometimes – well usually – the books of all sizes and shapes all kind of get smashed together.

So here we are, keep your expectations and chat, i certainly have.

Some other writers, documenters or general scribblers keep their notebooks well organized: labeled, chronological, even weighed or at least dated / whereas mine are scattered everywhere, sometimes spanning years/decades… opened to random pages, with undated riffs and what have you.

Especially recently with my delightful barn studio, endeavored to transcribe the often-illegible pages and sometimes i come across snapshots taken of a book which I’m not quite sure where it is or why I took the snaps but i can only surmise the pics are a message to my “future self” (meaning now) to put these pages somewhere where won’t lose the words – as insignificant as they may appear at first blush.

Poem / notes: ‘Suppose the Malaise…’ (handwritten, draft)

When a poem comes, you grab the paper and pen that’s closest & scribble the muses’s desire – and then I think to myself “you better organize this and put it somewhere systematic to later transcribe and you know, edit or whatever” / but since the *system* always changes and things disappear quickly, sometimes i find snapshots of the first wild poem sparks in process so, rather than forgetting about the whole thing and recovering some decades later, i’m stashing here. I may or may not ever be able to read this and who knows when will transcribe, but might do it here in a minute… or maybe next year, or maybe a robot will do it for me.. or the biographers. Who’s to say? My job is to write it and archive in some manner or another.

Poem: ‘Served my Heart’ #draft

Served my heart

Suppose its petty
And surely inelegant
but I’ll spill it anyhow
As i recollect

“I still think of all the stuff
I suddenly gave away
When I I though I will die”

All the paintings I sent away
Hoping to be remembered
My hand or another held
The brush and decision

Thought would bring
Safety net and affection
And watchful eye on escape
A photo shows up sometimes
In a flashback and fleeting

Fireworks or factories
On a Spanish coast, a grotto
Fig de Foz or Gandhi beach park

Lions gate in a windstorm
Pretending i was Varley
Taking late night ferry
Over between drunken tug boat races

All gone but for the snaps
I try to make anew
But hand only knows how
To forget and the paint
Goes on in errant blobs
Maintaining current mood

Painting: Tom Thompson

Okayama’s “moment” + a few checkpoints and sustainable enjoyable life

Unfamous Okayama is having a bit of a moment: lots of new houses going up, Iris Oyama making a factory here, Amahz0n building a distribution center + folks moving from the “big city” for a more enjoyable pace/price of life & ‘relative’ lack of significant natural disasters.

[Watch: Okayama Opens Up + JJ Walsh Okayama show]

Anyhow, when I was passing through the Station (Strangely, very rarely ride trains, but the bus loop is right there) took a few snaps to pass along to visiting friends for some important orientation points.

About Japan Life:

Okayama is kind of famous as ‘a place you pass through going to somewhere else’ / cheesy tour books/sites translate into “a transportation hub” / I really like it’s just super normal – right sized, not too hectic, but all conveniences & usual castle, gardens, shrines, shops

Also, while I’m here, talking about my unfamous home, adding a few annotations, which applied to some blowhard’s article that was making waves of sorts… [ain’t gonna link it cause its so offside and baity] The same crap that comes up from time to time that “Japan’s GDP is so low, the debt is so high, the population is so aging, they don’t know what they’re doing, Japan is doomed” and then all the uninformed chime in about life in the UK/US/Canada/Australia as though it’s any better because the relative currency value is currently higher and then folks who keep one foot in various countries blabbity blab. I’m here forever so i got feelings. Also, i’ve been around.

Of course, the data points are always centred around Tokyo, and overlook so many of the benefits of living here in Japan {yeah no kidding, a few things i’d love to change so i work towards mitigation like drrr}, and rather than me writing an essay, here’s a few notes about “sustainable and enjoyable living” i added to the conversation – pointing towards my own experience natch – which were summarily ignored, which is fine:

Funny how it goes, Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka suck oxygen out of all the Japan news and are far more expensive/difficult to live in then “everywhere else” / here in unfamous Okayama, lots of new families moving in from around Japan, things are undramatic, somehow growing and pleasant.

We’ve also got a good garden, acquired some additional land, my wife runs a small business (arborist and landscape design), we have a wild boar trapper, solar panels & back up fresh water well. Plus stashes of savings in multiple currencies & tax free investments. Life is ok.

Importantly, real estate/housing isn’t a blood sport. You can acquire house(s) and if you have some moderate DIY skills, can be set up for long-term with no mortgage and a little hassle. + I’m chronic/complex ill & getting way better medical care here than I did in USA or Canada.

I’ve sampled living in *a lot* of different countries – from Jamaica to Indonesia to Nepal and have several passports and while Japan’s got problems, haven’t found a place that doesn’t… And the ones with the least problems have the biggest price tag to go with them.

Went back to Canada recently with family, & was expecting but still shocked by how expensive “everything” is – as well as how hard double income, no kids working “great jobs” we’re having to hustle for housing. Sure it’s beautiful but can hardly enjoy it without serious $$ flow.

Regardless, when got married, I promised my wife would never pack her up and move away from parents and she promised me I’d never have to be an English teacher so we’re here for the long-haul + have a great kid, a quirky house and my best friend’s goat farm nearby…

Bonus: And folks love enjoying/buying my paintings and poems here instead of just “oh yeah, I meant to buy one of those but…” in other places

Finally: at the bus loop, I noticed my favourite local bus company (there are several sort of public private operations) are doing a promotion to take folks on a hot spring excursion. Pay one price, get picked up, go to some Hot Springs, get ride back home. {Now that we’ve lost a few weeks with the scourge, not sure it will work out for us. We’re just really glad that this sorta campaign exists.

let’s go to hotsprings with Uno bus

Addendum: “there’s nothing to do in Okayama so why would any tourist go there” Twitter Convo

Fresh out of defiance #draft

One is as good as the next I suppose
Fresh out of defiant slogans
Too exhausted to scowl
Done with rhetoric and angst

Given up on raised firsts
Just my eyebrows for now
I run but slowly
On the hamster wheel
Stroll languid towards oblivion

Lay flat, do little
Let the system squander and powers collapse among
Hubris, greed bah!
“i’ll Take apathy to go”
With a side of indifference


Lyric: Carousel of Lost Ambitions #draft

disappearing is tricky but possible
Vaguely remember
When I disappeared
Drifted away
Wasn’t heard from in years

Lost and found
Now here I am send me a postcard
Or a telegram

Did you get the note
I left in your locker
Remembered your padlock
numbers from a broken clock

It’s right far more often
Then twice a day
Would need a watch to verify so I’m not sure anyway

Sollioquies of self sabotage
Wayward schemes from
Sydney to Frankfort
Or was it Austin to Adelaide?

Blanket tents and tarpaulins
Acquired from surplus store on a rainy day under the aqueduct
not the one made by ancient Romans

Errant dispatches from Osaka to Olympia
Greece or Cascadia
Ships landing at a jumbo floating barge
Now a nautical disaster

Which ever solitude suits your mind
Sincerity obviously optional
You wouldn’t want it any other way but difficult

Scribble manifests of destiny
On backs of a clearinghouse sweepstakes winning slips
Send by carrier pigeon
return address
of general post & salvage
consortium incorporate

No postal code or round-trip ticket
Intentions left at last week’s station
Suitcase of gold bars & chocolate bricks
Dizzy from carousels and lost ambitions

Lyric: Steeplechas’d #draft

{for KB & CC}

meanwhile in Kerala with creamsicle houses

I built a sensory deprivation chamber
Out of cardboard scissors and glue
Meant to be along in a fog
But accidentally made room for you (as well)

Somehow we steeple-chased
From OlyWa to Pondicherry
Lomo ghosts of dangerous signs
To develop a cover story

It doesn’t all add up
Mostly because i pawned my
To pay for silent meditation

Turns out freedom is
An empty glass
Or broken glasses
To block out all the fuzz
Find meaning tin the absence
Of strangers and true loves

Hire an Ayurvedic practitioner
Who comes to chat on a phone
While rubbing oil into
Your secret places alone

Ride a TukTuk which only takes wrong turns
Then Bicycle with lock
Emblazoned with a sign which says
Steal me, freely

Climbing mountains seeking
Really this time the most holy brahmin
Who sits making espressos
No croissant though
Is it even worthwhile?

Only find sunburns
And a golden dome for a holy mother
Who didn’t bother to learn your name
Attached to yet another saint

Free range children
Climbing holy banyan trees
Sacred grove signs pointing
Towards your next checkpoint
With fresh toxic paint

Found enlightenment
When i stopped trying
And opened the doors
To secret cafes
With signs requiring shoes ignored

Realize danger is perception
Sure take my rupees dollar and yen
I wander easily with pockets of seashells
Forged passport and
Manufactured zen