Poetry at the San Francisco Jazz Center with Poet Laureate Ishmael Reed SAT June 28, 2014.

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We are putting on a poetry reading with music at the SFJazz Center to pay tribute to the center’s Poet Laureate Ishmael Reed SAT June 28, 2014.

Ishmael is my mentor and my muse.
He is also my first publisher.
This is my way of saying: Thank you.
Thank you, Ishmael.
Thank you, Poetry.
Thank you, San Francisco.
FREE ADMISSION
The San Francisco Jazz Center at 201 Franklin Street.
Special guests.

Rock Legend Morgan Fisher plays with the Yuricane

Rock legend Morgan Fisher (Mott the Hoople, Dead Kennedys, Queen) plays with the Yuricane band on my poem “Hiroshima” at a benefit for Fukushima children at Infinity Books SUN April 20, 2014. Hirokazu Suyama on tablas, Hiroshi Tokieda on bass and Yuuichiro Ishii on guitar. This was the first time Morgan Fisher ever played with us, and we hope there will be many more. Film by Hirokazu Suyama.

HIROSHIMA
A poem by Yuri Kageyama

they wander like a whisper
still
over this city
blending with the sea breeze
the soft light
the cracks of scars
not just one ghost or two
but tens of thousands
who all looked up and saw a flash
turning people into dead globs of charcoal;
there are no photos from that day,
they wander, crawling, naked, moaning,
flesh hanging like tatters;
they’re asking that question,
we did nothing wrong
why oh why
when all it can do is
kill kill kill kill
nothing else
turning skin eyeballs laughter head back legs
into a keloid of hell,
but no one really answers.

And here is that night’s version of our “Fukushima,” my hiphop poem, after which we got an encore from the audience and we did “Hiroshima.”
Hirokazu Suyama on tablas, Hiroshi Tokieda on bass and Yuuichiro Ishii on guitar. Film by Hirokazu Suyama.

FUKUSHIMA
A poem by Yuri Kageyama

Y’all, it’s a Meltdown nation
Since Three-Eleven
Covered in the fear
Of unseen radiation
But Don’t you expect
Any revolution
All you will find
Is fear and contamination.

Fukushima
Fukushima
Fukushima

Here in Fukushima
It rhymes with Hiroshima
Instead of a holler
Hear just a whimper
They say it is safe
The kids like Chernobyl
Are coming down sick
With Thyroid cancer.

Y’all, it’s no hallucination
The refugees’ life
No compensation
No resolution
Just nuclear explosions
Get your dosimeter
Cesium in the water
Lost Imagination

Fukushima
Fukushima
Fukushima

Here in Fukushima
It rhymes with Hiroshima
The radiated Brothers
Faces are hidden
Goggles and masks
Like an astronaut
From head to toe
The Invisible workers

Tsunami Demolition
God’s DeCreation
Genetic Devastation
Our next Generation.
Here in Fukushima
It rhymes with Hiroshima
No-go zones forever
The World must remember.

Fukushima
Fukushima
Fukushima

A reply to a musician doing a song about Japanese women wearing cheap perfume

A reply to a musician doing a song about Japanese women wearing cheap perfume
CHEAP PERFUME _ A poem by Yuri Kageyama

CHEAP PERFUME
that whiff snuggled in the commuter train
it makes him want to puke, he says
CHEAP PERFUME
cheap suit, chubby arms, fat feet
she is smug and straight, he feels
CHEAP PERFUME
rushing to work, she squirts it on
escape in a heavenly scent, dream of a faraway world
CHEAP PERFUME
a sculptured bottle costs 3,000 yen
lots of zeroes fewer than what fashion usually costs
CHEAP PERFUME
Yves Saint Laurent, Gucci, Marc Jacobs, Chanel No. 5
a well-earned chance to inject that glitz high
CHEAP PERFUME
a fragrant aura like an “OL” halo
to protect all women against chauvinist evil
CHEAP PERFUME
it doesn’t take that much to know
No PERFUME ever comes CHEAP

“Fukushima” and “Hiroshima” by The Yuricane


FUKUSHIMA

“Fukushima” and “Hiroshima” poems written and read by Yuri Kageyama with Hirokazu Suyama on drums, Hiroshi Tokieda on bass and Yuuichiro Ishii on guitar _ The Yuricane _ at What the Dickens in Tokyo April 6, 2014. Film by Hirokazu Suyama.

FUKUSHIMA
a poem by Yuri Kageyama

Y’all, it’s a Meltdown nation
Since Three-Eleven
Covered in the fear
Of unseen radiation
But Don’t you expect
Any revolution
All you will find
Is fear and contamination.

Fukushima
Fukushima
Fukushima

Here in Fukushima
It rhymes with Hiroshima
Instead of a holler
Hear just a whimper
They say it is safe
The kids like Chernobyl
Are coming down sick
With Thyroid cancer.

Y’all, it’s no hallucination
The refugees’ life
No compensation
No resolution
Just nuclear explosions
Get your dosimeter
Cesium in the water
Lost Imagination

Fukushima
Fukushima
Fukushima

Here in Fukushima
It rhymes with Hiroshima
The radiated Brothers
Faces are hidden
Goggles and masks
Like an astronaut
From head to toe
The Invisible workers

Tsunami Demolition
God’s DeCreation
Genetic Devastation
Our next Generation.
Here in Fukushima
It rhymes with Hiroshima
No-go zones forever
The World must remember.

Fukushima
Fukushima
Fukushima


HIROSHIMA

HIROSHIMA
a poem by Yuri Kageyama

they wander like a whisper
still
over this city
blending with the sea breeze
the soft light
the cracks of scars
not just one ghost or two
but tens of thousands
who all looked up and saw a flash
turning people into dead globs of charcoal;
there are no photos from that day,
they wander, crawling, naked, moaning,
flesh hanging like tatters;
they’re asking that question,
we did nothing wrong
why oh why
when all it can do is
kill kill kill kill
nothing else
turning skin eyeballs laughter head back legs
into a keloid of hell,
but no one really answers.

A benefit reading for Fukushima in Tokyo

shaking

I’m reading at this bookstore in a benefit for the children of Fukushima SUN April 20 3 p.m. – 11 p.m.

My Poem a Finalist Winner in Cultural Weekly

WHAT GREAT COMPANY.
My Poem “No Gift of the Magi” is among nine finalist winners in a Cultural Weekly poetry contest.
It’s all the more special when I love the other winning poems, too.
Our performance gets featured in _ where else? Cultural Weekly.

No Gift of the Magi
A Poem by Yuri Kageyama
With Bass by Hiroshi Tokieda
Film by Adam Lewis

A reading at the Japan Writers Conference in Okinawa, Japan, Nov. 2, 2013.

we were poor
not dirt poor but poor
me a reporter at the local rag
you a stay-at-home dad and part-time English teacher
and so when i opened that velveteen box
you handed me oh so casually on
Christmas eve
palpitating
anticipation about a
gem or jewel or sparkle
that other girls get
and saw a plain black fountain
pen
the kind no one uses anymore
mont blanc or some other brand requiring finger-smudging
ink,
i was angry
“why did you buy this and
waste money?”
and then you
suddenly
moved
and i thought you were going to hit me
and you took the pen
and broke it in half
hot with something
that was beyond
the anger i felt
sour-tasting disappointment
a feeling of not being
loved
not like that O. Henry story
where the comb unwanted, the watch band unwanted
were simple
priceless proofs of
true love
undeniable,
not that dumb purchase filled with
hate,
and you looked up
and said what I didn’t
think of and what you didn’t
want to say
at all,
“I bought you a pen
because you are
a writer
and that’s what writers use
_ a pen.”

Demon Worship _ a poem by Yuri Kageyama with guitar by Yuuichiro Ishii

DEMON WORSHIP
A poem by YURI KAGEYAMA
With YUUICHIRO ISHII on guitar
Film by Adam Lewis

A reading at the Japan Writers Conference in Okinawa, Japan, Nov. 2, 2013.

to my touch
he is surface soft textured
hardened jade within

“you have a nice one,” I say
the first night we meet

he is always awake
probably blind
in perpetual erection
thinking no thoughts
having no conscience
Monk piano move-
ments
fitting
so perfectly
my internal space of stars

violent instinctual
animal of music
quick pacedly
choking a uterus
multiple tight til
it gives up
coming
any more

his churning
jazz rolls
lips outlining shape
wetness tonguing form
fill
my mouth
with warm sweetness
that I drink in

like our love

LOVING YOUNGER MEN a poem by Yuri Kageyama with drums by Hirokazu Suyama

LOVING YOUNGER MEN
A Poem by YURI KAGEYAMA
With Drumming by HIROKAZU SUYAMA
Film by ADAM LEWIS

A reading at the Japan Writers Conference in Okinawa, Japan, Nov. 2, 2013.
“Loving Younger Men” was first published in BEYOND RICE, A BROADSIDE SERIES, Mango Publications and NOLO Press, 1979.

Only the bodies of young men aroused her;
the pure innocence in their wide dark eyes,
the wild still animal strength in their muscles,
the smoothness of their skin, so shiny, stretched
out over their boy-like shoulders, flat stomachs,
abdominals rippling gently, their thick thighs
that could thrust forever into the night, their
soft moist lips, where their tonges, so delicious,
dwelt, which darted against, into her vagina,
making her moan with joy, forgetting everything,
which felt so strong against her own tongue at one
moment, yet another, seemed to melt like caramel
in the back of her throat,
their dry fingers, that touched her in the most
unexpected and expecting spots,
their penises, half-covered by their black curls,
seemed smaller, less developed, less threatening,
yet as their shoulders strangely widened
when they held her, their penises filled her,
pointed against her deepest uterine insides,
hurting her with a pleasurable pain, as though
she could sense with her hand, their movements
from outside her belly. Her father beat her as a girl.
She ran from him, crying, please don’t hit me! please
don’t hit me! No, rather she stood defiant, silent,
silent tears drunk down her chest, till he, in anger
or fear,
slapped her again and again, once so hard she was
swung across the room, once on her left ear so
that she could not hear for three weeks. She
frequented bars, searching for young men who desired
her. She sat alone drinking. She preferred
the pretty effeminate types _ perfectly featured,
a Michelangelo creation, island faces with coral eyes,
faces of unknown tribal child-princes. To escape
her family, she eloped at sixteen, with an alchoholic.
who tortured her every night, binding her with ropes,
sticking his penis into her mouth until she choked,
hitting her face into bruises, kicking her in
the stomach, aborting her child, his child.
The young boys’ heads, she would hold, after orgasm,
rocking them in her arms. She would kiss the side of their
tanned necks, breathe in the ocean scent of their hair,
lick their ear lobes and inside their ears. When they
fell asleep, sprawled like a puppy upon her sheets,
their mouths open, she would lie awake watching,
watching, watching, admiring their bodies, how so
aesthetically formed, balanced, textured. What
she enjoyed the most was their fondling her breasts,
suckling, massaging the flesh, flicking the tongue
against the nipple, biting, sucking till her nipples
were red-hot for days. She could come just by this,
without penetration.
When she is alone, she cries. In the dark, she reaches
upwards, into the air, grabbing nothing.

This is what death feels like _ a poem by Yuri Kageyama

This is what death feels like
a poem by Yuri Kageyama

it is the end
you are gone
no more
it is only a dream so i
decide this must be what death is like
not your death, but my own
it is the end
you are gone
no more
my throat is hot with weeping
my eyes are blind from searching for you
my heart is bleeding with emptiness
it is the end
you are gone
no more
how can i keep on living
knowing only this waits ahead, i can’t,
this certain separation, this death
it is the end
you are gone
no more
but wait, this calm i own
when you are here now, close by,
or not so close, but somewhere
it is the end
you are gone
no more
this is what death feels like
i am always close to you, total, perfect
and it doesn’t matter
it is the end
you are gone
no more

FUKUSHIMA HIPHOP: Poetry by Yuri Kageyama written in homage to Ahmir Khalib Thompson and The Roots


Official video by The Roots “What They Do” 1996 Geffen Records.

FUKUSHIMA HIPHOP
Poetry by Yuri Kageyama
in homage to Ahmir Khalib Thompson and The Roots

fukushima3
photo by Yuri Kageyama

Y’all, it’s a Meltdown nation
Since Three-Eleven
Covered in the fear
Of unseen radiation
But Don’t you expect
Any revolution
All you will find
Is fear and contamination.

Fukushima
Fukushima
Fukushima

Here in Fukushima
It rhymes with Hiroshima
Instead of a holler
Hear just a whimper
They say it is safe
The kids like Chernobyl
Are coming down sick
With Thyroid cancer.

Y’all, it’s no hallucination
The refugees’ life
No compensation
No resolution
Just nuclear explosions
Get your dosimeter
Cesium in the water
Lost Imagination

Fukushima
Fukushima
Fukushima

Here in Fukushima
It rhymes with Hiroshima
The radiated Brothers
Faces are hidden
Goggles and masks
Like an astronaut
From head to toe
The Invisible workers

Tsunami Demolition
God’s DeCreation
Genetic Devastation
Our next Generation.
Here in Fukushima
It rhymes with Hiroshima
No-go zones forever
The World must remember.

Fukushima
Fukushima
Fukushima

fukushima1

fukushima2
photos by Yuri Kageyama