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.

Shinimonogurui _ a Poem by Yuri Kageyama

Shinimonogurui _ a Poem by Yuri Kageyama

しにものぐるいにあいし
しにものぐるいにうんで
しにものぐるいにそだてて
またしにものぐるいにあいし
しにものぐるいに死ぬ

The Crooked Smile _ a poem by Yuri Kageyama

The Crooked Smile
_ a poem by Yuri Kageyama

You smiled
Suddenly
In the silence after your first breath of a wail
So still and serious,
Testing the corner muscles of your mouth
Forgetting for a moment your instinct to suckle
Looking with your miracle almond eyes into my eyes,
Hello
Hello
Hello
Pleased to meet you.
A tiny crooked
But perfect
Smile.
They say:
Newborns don’t smile for weeks.
I decide
you are just a genius.

No Tears _ a poem by Yuri Kageyama

No Tears
a poem by Yuri Kageyama

Victims of abuse
do not weep or scream, even whimper.
Too scared to speak out.
Tears are seeking sniffles of sympathy.
Pleas assume cuddles of resolution.
Being born into abuse is darkness with no escape. So we stay silent.
“Mama, mama.
I’m sorry, mama,”
is not
something we say.
We drink in all those words
Like the salty tears we do not taste.
Just wait in fear.
Filled with hatred and the blind groping for justice and
the secret tongue-biting vow of revenge.
But we do not ask for pity.
We do not cry.

A Facebook Post Upon Reading a Facebook Post

A Facebook Post Upon Reading a Facebook Post
_ a poem by Yuri Kageyama

I saw your post about not wanting children.
I do feel bad.
But more than that
I feel I understand exactly how you feel as that is how I felt all through my 20s, actually until I had you.
Then I knew or I think I knew that having you was the most wonderful thing that had happened in my life.
I just feel bad you feel the wa
y you do _ not only because we were “bad” parents and didn’t give you a bright happy childhood full with Elmo smiles _ but more because I was exactly that kind of person, like you, who didn’t want children at all.
The world is such a horrible place and what child would want to come into such a horrible place?
And if parents are all imperfectly human, then how could any parent live up to the task?
I am exploring these ideas and more in the writing that I am doing now and always have _ since you were born.
Maybe that is selfish because a child is real with real needs, not like writing which is more unreal than real.
But I am convinced more than ever that you are the best thing that happened in my life.
And it is not anything that you will do or you will become or you will say or feel.
Nothing can change this simple fact.
It is beyond any explanation or any argument or any question.
It is so very unreal.
And real.
Like Music.
And so maybe someday you will have that magic of a child.
Somewhere inside of you from where your music is born a child is waiting to be born _ to you.

Denouement _ a poem by Yuri Kageyama

Denouement
a Poem by Yuri Kageyama

You are curled up, tight, still, in fetal position, eyes closed but seeing red blindness, throbbing flesh, deep inside our stomachs, so entrenched within, but disjointed, expanding _ like our pain, infinite like solar systems in the universe.
I was already there in that moment.
We shared in that secret of knowing, knowing you will be born, someday, 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 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 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 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, untouched but 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 terrified 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 gyrating in the resonance of the giant taiko drum, shaking and deafening that 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 that 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 contaminated 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 honeyed 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 betrayal, while 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.

behold the egg

behold the egg
a poem by Yuri Kageyama

behold the egg
boil it with a pinch of salt
for the simplest meal
full of Vitamin D
behold the egg
paint it pink, blue, green
to hide and find for Easter
remember resurrection
behold the egg
embraced by a brittle shell
the secret of life
not quite round but whole
behold the egg
waiting blind and eyeless
for a blind, eyeless sperm
to give birth that can finally see
behold the egg
behold the egg

Love poem for Isaku from 1983

Everyone says that you take after the father, not me. Though I was the one who suffered the nine months of carrying you around, the agony of labor, the Cesarean scar.
*****
I feel surrounded by Face and Face _ a formalization in flesh of a relationship that was otherwise just a romance, perhaps even love, but not quite this. I am afraid. When I see your sleeping face to my right and the same face sleeping to my left, the face doesn’t seem much bigger, with those eyes with lots of long lashes that make them appear smeared-gray painted, the pouting undersized mouth, the same curve of skull arching at the back. You two are breathing the identical rhythm, and I kill mine to make sure you are really breathing.
*****
Did you know a mother often checks to make sure her sleeping child is still alive? You are nearly 2 years old, but you still want to suck. I feel like killing you. Yet I make sure you are alive. You cry when I leave. “Miss Mama,” you tell me later in your sweet voice. (That sweet voice you have, no matter how much I resent you.) I don’t feel guilty. I tell myself: I don’t feel guilty. When you become a young man and I an old woman, I will cry for you, yet you will leave. So, at times, Isaku, I have to go.
*****
Your father’s shoulders have broadened and muscles lurk in arms that used to be skinny. He has a job now and works hard. And he wasn’t like this before you came around. “Are you my son?” he keeps saying, bouncing you on his knee, waiting for your correct reply. “Yes, Daddy!” You point to his baby photos and comment, “Haku,” mistaking them for yourself. When you grow up and leave, will this man, whose looks you will grow into, this man, who cried with me when you were born, will he still be here?