ISAKU KAGEYAMA as a young taiko drummer at Bon Odori in Tokyo and an Amanojaku children’s division performance doing among other pieces “Nidanuchi.”
Thanks to all his Bon Taiko students for expressing interest. Now that they’ve gotten us started, we are thinking of editing video of his omatsuri playing.

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

With Drumming by HIROKAZU SUYAMA

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.

Hirokazu Suyama reads my poem “ode to the stroller”

Drummer Hirokazu Suyama reads my poem “ode to the stroller” and teaches me and moves me more than I knew I could have ever hoped for.
Thank you, Hiro, for your music, for believing in my poetry and for simply being so special.
Read at the Japan Writers’ Conference in Okinawa.
Nov. 2, 2013.
Film by Adam Lewis of Okinawa Vision.
We are really one.

ode to the stroller
a poem by Yuri Kageyama

we zip weightless like silent angels
up and down San Francisco hills
running on the mother of all energy
greener than solar
rolling rolling rolling
with laughter
cream acid rock ‘n’ rolling
lightning dazzling wheels
teethers jangling dangling dancing
going mad on strangle-free rubbery ribbons
up and down the Avenues
J-town, Clement Street
Golden Gate Park
Museum of Modern Art
we are singing:
“Ouma no oyako wa nakayoshi koyoshi
itsudemo issho ni pokkuri pokkuri aruku”
perfume wind in our hair
springing over potholes
not even stopping just for breast feeds
connected as one through this magical machine
me pushing
you riding
the Lamborghini of strollers
the Gundam of strollers
the little train that could of strollers
up up up into the joyous clouds
zooming wheeeeee
down slurping slopes
around swervacious curves
we are one
yes, we are one
tied in the past with our
umbilical cord
even in death
in our dreams

blank spaces over generations _ a poem by Yuri Kageyama

blank spaces over generations
a poem by Yuri Kageyama

my father was
slapped for
buying a
book of
that his father
thought was
a rip-off _
so many
blank spaces

i was
a poet
long before i
anything else
so i didn’t
worry about
money or how i
was going
to make a living or
all the

my son is
a drummer
he doesn’t yet
know the
blank spaces
of the world
are a gift
from that
who was beaten for
a book

Amanojaku at Super Deluxe in Tokyo in May 2010

the younger members of Amanojaku a taiko group in Tokyo
from left to right:
Chris Holland, Isaku Kageyama, Daisuke Watanabe, Hiromi Sekine.

A tribute in Tokyo for Eliazar a great drummer

Clip from the May 15 musical tribute in Buddy, Tokyo for Venezuelan drummer Eliazar Yanes, who died Jan. 22. Taiko drumming and singing by Yoichi Watanabe, Hiromi Ogawa on taiko and percussion, traps drums by Takayoshi Tanaka, Katsunari Sawada on shamisen, Morris Reina on guitar and cuatro, Jun Ishibashi on vocals and guitar, and bassist Ikuo Okamoto.
Yanes studied taiko, believed music could unite people across nationalities and cultures, and felt a strong spiritual connection with his teacher Yoichi Watanabe of Amanojaku.
Yanes used to say he knows he was Japanese in a previous life. When he visited Watanabe for the first time in a kodan danchi in Tokyo, he was thrilled Watanabe, like him, was from the “barrios,” so close was the resemblance in the housing complex.
Yanes was widely respected as a jazz drummer, but he was also instrumental in introducing taiko in Venezuela.
Watanabe learned about Yanes’ death when Watanabe was in Brazil, on his international musical mission, teaching Japanese Brazilian youngsters taiko. Watanabe loved Yanes deeply. He wanted to play and sing for Eliazar in Heaven.
For that moment, Eliazar was with us _ right there in Buddy.
Music is an international language, the musicians said, beyond words, beyond war, beyond death.
Wait for us Eliazar, the musicians said, we will be there soon _ well, maybe not so soon but soon enough.
And we will play music together again.