Poetry Kanto 2014

Three of my works are featured in this annual publication.

Three of my works are featured in this annual publication.

My works just got published in Poetry Kanto 2014. an annual and multicultural compilation put out by Alan Botsford. The pieces are: “blank spaces over generations,” a poem about how our love for poetry is so often misunderstood and ends up being painful; “The Crooked Smile,” a short poem about motherhood and giving birth, one of my favorite themes, and “Why the Japanese Love Michael Jackson” _ well, just what it says. Naturally, I am in great company. I am always amazed at how poetry brings us together. There is so much goodness in this world. Thank you, Alan.

HIROSHIMA a poem by Yuri Kageyama read with Kaoru Watanabe

HIROSHIMA

A poem by Yuri Kageyama
A reading by Yuri Kageyama
With Kaoru Watanabe of Kodo on fue flute, taiko drum and other percussion.
Recorded at Kaoru Watanabe Taiko Studio in Brooklyn New York
For a memorial for poet, publisher and educator Virgina Scott at Lehman College, the Bronx, New York
September 20, 2014.

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.

IMG_3244 kaoru

An excerpt from Story of Miu (a performance piece in the works) by Yuri Kageyama

An excerpt from Story of Miu (a performance piece in the works)
By Yuri Kageyama

You are curled up tight, in fetal position, eyes still closed but seeing red blindness, throbbing flesh, still alive, deep inside our stomachs so entrenched within us but also disjointed and expanding like our pain and like all the solar systems in the universe.
I was already there in that moment. We shared in that secret of knowing you will someday be born, before anyone else knew, and then grow up and become man _ or woman _ with a yelping gasping flash-of-light wail, the newborn’s cry in that first breath, and recognizing from the very start that you will someday have this same joy and same pain, growing inside you and being born.
It doesn’t matter that you will make towers. You will make music. You will make computer programs. You will make money. You will make babies.
It doesn’t matter that you will be a pillar of society. You will be an outcast. You will win rewards. You will be abused as a stranger.
It doesn’t matter that you will witness a great northern earthquake, although it is a once-in-a-century disaster setting off a torrent of outraged water that turns farmland into mud, buildings and homes into rubble, and quiet untouched happy towns into ghost towns covered with radiation.
I was there, with you, before it all _ in that redness and blackness and all seeing blindness that was here and everywhere, bleeding and beating and breathing and being, inside my uterus, that spot near my navel that connects with your navel, before and even after your newborn cry.
This is the same cosmos inside the bodies of all mothers, where we fall in our slumber, snuggling against our blankets, the safe and eternal place we visit that are called dreams after we awaken.
This is the same cosmos in the resonance of the giant taiko drum, shaking and deafening, but we hear and understand every note like our mother’s heartbeat.
The otherworldly world that awaits behind the mirror in a Tadanori Yokoo painting, the crooked road not taken behind the church in a Vincent Van Gogh painting _ a world from this end we fear might be the Michelangelo hell of a nuclear meltdown with faces and arms peeled, stunted and melted by an erring god scientists will never admit was provoked by anything other than a mother’s mistake, or else it could smell like lotuses and incense and candles, sinking into a Claude Monet lake of sheer light and blindness that is canvas and museum walls no more but total artist’s vision.
This is the same cosmos where ghosts with long black hair reside, sometimes standing besides riverside willow trees weeping about their lovers’ betrayal, and at other times mysteriously saving children from car crashes as benevolent all-knowing ancestors.
After all these years, I finally know this is where I return when I die.
To be with you again, all the time, in that moment of eternity that is before birth, so perfectly connected we don’t need to speak or breathe or remember.

“Story of Miu,” a film written and directed by Yuri Kageyama. Dance and choreography by Yuki Kawahisa starring as Miu.

“Story of Miu,” written, directed and edited by Yuri Kageyama.
Yuki Kawahisa as Miu.
Dance and Choreography by Yuki Kawahisa.
Man and chief camera work by Rodrigo Albuquerque.
Woman in park Desiree Cantuaria.
Camera and other production work Raquel Prado, Rodrigo Albuquerque, Desiree Cantuaria and Yuri Kageyama.
Music “Nikata Bushi” by Isaku Kageyama on taiko drums and his Hybrid Soul, Chris Young guitar and Pat Glynn bass, with Yoshinori Kikuchi on shakuhachi.
Credit roll music “My Africa” composed and sung by Ayumi Ueda with Isaku Kageyama on percussion, Yoshinori Kikuchi shakuhachi, Yumi Sugimoto piano, Keisuke Higashino bass and Seiemon Sawada shamisen.
A TOKYO FLOWER CHILDREN PRODUCTION.
New York Film Academy.
October 2014.

My First Film

I’ve written, directed and edited my first film “I Will Bleed.”
I am still learning; I am now a student at the New York Film Academy.
But it is wonderful to learn visual storytelling _ another way to express my poetry.
I’m working on my second film.

“I Will Bleed,”
a film written and directed by Yuri Kageyama

Cast:
Woman: Raquel Prado
Man: Rodrigo Albuquerque

Camera by Rodrigo Albuquerque and Desiree Cantuaria

Music “I Will Bleed” based on poetry by Yuri Kageyama
Lyrics by Yuri Kageyama and Trupti Pandkar
Vocals by Trupti Pandkar
Music composed by Trupti Pandkar and Hiroshi Tokieda

Performed at the SFJAZZ CENTER in San Francisco June 2014,
by the Yuricane band
featuring Hirokazu Suyama on drums, Hiroshi Tokieda on bass, Hide Asada on guitar,
and featuring Trupti Pandkar on vocals.

A TOKYO FLOWER CHILDREN PRODUCTION
September 2014.
A New York Film Academy student music movie film.

My Poetry with Music at SFJAZZ CENTER in a tribute to ISHMAEL REED June 2014.

SFstage
Photo by Annette Borromeo Dorfman.

Poetry written and read by Yuri Kageyama with the Yuricane band, featuring Hirokazu Suyama on drums and tablas, Hiroshi Tokieda on bass, Hide Asada on guitar and Trupti Pandkar on vocals.
“A Tribute for Ishmael Reed”
SFJAZZ CENTER in San Francisco SAT June 28, 2014.
All poetry written and read by Yuri Kageyama http://yurikageyama.com
5:40 “Loving Younger Men”
11:05 “Little YELLOW Slut”
17:25 “No Gift of the Magi”
23:55 “Ode to the Stroller”
30:00 “Fukushima” in homage to Questlove Jenkins and The Roots.
34:00 “Hiroshima”
40:10 Indian Improv Interlude
44:02 “I Will Bleed” Lyrics by Yuri Kageyama and Trupti Pandkar, Melody by Trupti Pandkar and Hiroshi Tokieda.

withbass
Photo by Annette Borromeo Dorfman.

SFJAZZ with drums
Photo by Annette Borromeo Dorfman.

with trupti
Photo by Eba Chan.

ebaSF
Photo by Eba Chan.

Poetry at the SFJAZZ CENTER in San Francisco 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 in San Francisco 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 SFJAZZ CENTER at 201 Franklin Street.

Yuri Kageyama’s “Fukushima” A poem with music _ an early version as it was born in a Tokyo garage. On SoundCloud.

ISHMAEL REED, the legendary poet, novelist, playwright, essayist, educator and thinker, TAKES CENTER STAGE AT THE SFJAZZ CENTER in San Francisco, where he is the poet laureate, to read his works in an evening of POETRY AND MUSIC, celebrating his multicultural and multi-format legacy.
MINER AUDITORIUM at the SFJAZZ CENTER (201 Franklin Street at Fell San Francisco, CA, USA)
FREE ADMISSION Saturday, June 28, 2014 7 pm – 9 pm (Doors open 6:30 pm)
Ishmael Reed, one of the most respected American writers today, has fascinated and provoked many. A winner of the MacArthur “genius” award, he has published more than 20 books, including “Mumbo Jumbo” and “Japanese By Spring.” He has recorded the spoken word with renowned musicians. Coming soon is a nonfiction work on Muhammad Ali, “Bigger Than Boxing.”
To his credit, he has also published the works of lesser known writers, including some of his students at the University of California, Berkeley, highlighting voices from minority groups that rarely get mainstream media exposure.
“Ishmael Reed was the first person to publish my poem, and that meant so much to a young poet who felt so alone but had so much to say,” says Tokyo-based poet and writer Yuri Kageyama, who is organizing the tribute for her mentor at the SFJAZZ CENTER.
Kageyama will be reading with her band from Japan, the Yuricane, inspired by Reed’s introduction to her latest book, “The New and Selected Yuri _ Writing From Peeling Till Now,” from Ishmael Reed Publishing Co. The band features drummer Hirokazu Suyama, bassist Hiroshi Tokieda , guitarist Hide Asada and Trupti Pandkar on vocals, who all hail from the Berklee College of Music in Boston. They stand for a new breed of Asian artists, who are not afraid to challenge cultural boundaries.
Tennessee Reed, author of “Spell Alburquerque: Memoir of a ‘Difficult’ Student,” and “Adventures Among the X Challenged,” is the special guest.

The Yuricane at Maple House in Tokyo SUN June 1, 2014

maplehouse

Loving Younger Men

Poetry and Music by the Yuricane at Maple House in Tokyo, SUN June 1, 2014, 4:30 p.m.

Little YELLOW Slut

No Gift of the Magi

The Yuricane band featuring Musical Director Hirokazu Suyama (drums), Hiroshi Tokieda (bass) and Yuuichiro Ishii (guitar) with me (spoken word) at Maple House, Gakugeidaigaku, Tokyo. SUN June 15, 2014.

ode to the stroller

Fukushima

Hiroshima

maplehouse

“Little YELLOW Slut” a poem by Yuri Kageyama at The Juke Joint in Tokyo.

“Little YELLOW Slut” a poem by Yuri Kageyama at The Juke Joint in Tokyo.

“Little YELLOW Slut,” a poem written and read by Yuri Kageyama with the YURICANE band featuring Musical Director Hirokazu Suyama (drums), Hiroshi Tokieda (bass) and Yuuichiro Ishii (guitar) in a performance for the second anniversary celebration of Writers’ Bloc, a group of Jamaican poets in Tokyo, at The Juke Joint in Tokyo, Dec. 15, 2013. Video by Biankah Bailey. Poem first published in KONCH MAGAZINE, Summer 2009 issue.

Little YELLOW Slut
a poem by Yuri Kageyama

You know her:
That Little YELLOW Slut, proudly gleefully
YELLOW-ly hanging on Big Master’s arm,
War bride, geisha,
GI’s home away from home,
Whore for last samurai,
Hula dancer with seaweed hair,
Yoko Ohno,
Akihabara cafe maid,
Hi-Hi Puffy Ami/Yumi,
Kawaiiii like keitai,
Back-up dancer for Gwen Stefani,
Your real-life Second Life avatar
Eager to deliver your freakiest fetish fantasies,
Disco queen, skirt up the crotch,
Fish-net stockings, bow-legged, anorexic, raisin nipples, tip-toeing Roppongi on
Stiletto heels.

Yessu, i spikku ingrishhu, i raikku gaijeeen, they kiss you,
hold your hand, open doors for me,
open legs for you, giggling pidgin, covering mouth,
so happy to be
Little YELLOW Slut.

Everybody’s seen her:
That Little YELLOW Slut, waiting at
Home, cooking rice, the Japanese
Condoleezza Rice,
Smelling of sushi,
Breath and vagina,
Fish and vinegar,
Fermented rice,
Honored to be
Cleaning lady,
Flight attendant for Singapore Airlines,
Charlie Chan’s Angel,
Nurse maid, gardener, Japan-expert’s wife,
Mochi manga face,
Yodeling minyo, growling enka,
Sex toy, slant-eyes closed, licking, tasting, swallowing STD semen,
Every drop.

Yessu, i wanna baby who looohkuh gaijeen, double-fold eye, translucent skin, international school PTA,
maybe grow up to be fashion model, even joshi-ana,
not-not-not happy to be
Little YELLOW Slut.

I recognize her:
That Little YELLOW Slut, rejecting
Japanese, rejected by Japanese,
Ashamed,
Empty inside,
They all look alike,
Faceless, hoping to forget, escape
To America,
Slant-eyed clitoris,
Adopted orphan,
Dream come true for pedophiles,
Serving sake, pouring tea, spilling honey,
Naturalized citizen,
Buying Gucci,
Docile doll,
Rag-doll, Miss Universe, manic harakiri depressive, rape victim, she is
You, she is me.

Hai, hai, eigo wakarimasen, worship Big Master for mind, matter, muscle, money, body size correlates to penis size,
waiting to be sexually harassed, so sorry, so many,
so sad to be
Little YELLOW Slut.

I Will Bleed _ a poem by Yuri Kageyama

I Will Bleed _ a poem by Yuri Kageyama

I will bleed
A red silk cord that ties us
A bridge over star-crossed oceans,
Families that feud in hate and war
I will bleed

I will bleed
Till I am all but empty
Drained of prejudice, pride and pain
All except for my love for you,
I will bleed

I will bleed
Let’s flee together into the dark
Binding our bodies tight with rope
So we stay together, even in hell
I will bleed

I will bleed
Thrust your knife through my organs
Then I watch you slice your neck
My blood is now your blood
I will bleed

I will bleed
The divide gone in one mindless flow
Race, culture, gender all blend in blood
Pulsating through our universe
I will bleed