TOSHINORI KONDO a poem by Yuri Kageyama

Toshinori Kondo

A Poem by Yuri Kageyama

shrieks growls wails moaning jagged cries wire and metal half machine untamed animal bleeding real blood never stops a never-ending pulse guerilla warfare of free music of onomatopoeia like a snake or a frog whose skin is always wet

Toshinori Kondo _ a poem by Yuri Kageyama

Toshinori Kondo
A Poem
By Yuri Kageyama

shrieks growls wails moaning jagged cries that tell stories of the urban jungle wire and metal untamed animal half machine bleeding real blood never stops a never-ending pulse guerilla warfare of free music of onomatopoeia like a snake or a frog whose skin is always wet

Poetry at the SFJAZZ CENTER in San Francisco with Poet Laureate Ishmael Reed SAT June 28, 2014.


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.
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


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




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

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-
so perfectly
my internal space of stars

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

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

like our love

Yuri Kageyama Reads in Okinawa Nov. 2, 2013, JAPAN WRITERS CONFERENCE, with music by Hirokazu Suyama, Hiroshi Tokieda and Yuuichiro Ishii

poster by Annette Borromeo Dorfman

OUR PROGRAM for our poetry reading with music, at the Japan Writers Conference SAT. Nov. 2, 2013, at Okinawa Christian University on Okinawa.
The event is FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.
Each and everyone of you who kindly comes to check us out will get FREE COPIES of my book, “The New and Selected Yuri: Writing From Peeling Till Now” (Ishmael Reed Publishing Co.).
The smooth and funky ORIGINAL MUSIC is by drummer Hirokazu Suyama, bassist Hiroshi Tokieda and Yuuichiro Ishii on guitar.
They all are from the Berklee College of Music, my favorite place for finding brilliance these days _ as that is where my son Isaku Kageyama is also studying music.
My son’s friends are my friends and practically my sons.
I am so proud of them, their talent, their potential and their integrity.
We take you on a literary journey through America and Japan and back again, where borders and stereotypes of genres, generations, cultures and nationalities are soundly debunked.
And so please come if you happen to be in Okinawa.
We hit at 4 p.m. Saturday at Room A.

Poetry with Music at Tokyo Woodstock

reading “ode to the stoller” and “Little YELLOW Slut”
with the Yuricane
_ Hirokazu Suyama (drums), Hiroshi Tokieda (bass), Yuuichiro Ishii (guitar) and Winchester Nii Tete (kpanlogo drums)
at Tokyo Woodstock 2013 at What the Dickens,
Film by Luis Silva.
July 21, 2013.

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

Little YELLOW Slut
a poem by Yuri Kageyama
first published in KONCH MAGAZINE, 2009.

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,
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.

Poet Yuri Kageyama, Drummer Pheeroan akLaff and Filmmaker Yoshiaki Tago

YURI KAGEYAMA, a poet of both worlds Japan and America, American drummer PHEEROAN AKLAFF and Japanese filmmaker YOSHIAKI TAGO come together to tell a pan-Pacific tale of pain, love and survival that defies racism and sexism over moments and generations.

Witness, celebrate and join in this exhilarating crossing of barriers of cultures and genres to debunk stereotypes and find free expression.

MON Aug. 6, 2012. 8 p.m. (door opens 7:30 p.m.)
at Live space plan-B (4-26-20 B1 Yayoicho Nakano-ku, TOKYO.
FREE ADMISSION (Donations welcome for plan-B).

Yuri Kageyama is the author of “The New and Selected Yuri: Writing From Peeling Till Now.” Her works, winning praise from literary giants like Ishmael Reed and Shuntaro Tanikawa, appear in “Y’Bird,” “Pow Wow,” “Breaking Silence,” “On a Bed of Rice,” “Konch” and “Phati’tude.” She has read with Eric Kamau Gravatt, Isaku Kageyama, Ashwut Rodriguez, Seamus Heaney, Shozu Ben, Victor Hernandez Cruz and the Broun Fellinis.

Pheeroan AkLaff is a New York-based drummer and composer. He has played with Rashied Ali, Oliver Lake, Henry Threadgill, Cecil Taylor, Yosuke Yamashita and Andrew Hill. A headliner at many festivals including Moers and Nurnberg, he is in Japan on the “Dear Freedom Suite” tour with Jun Miyake and Toshiki Nagata. He has led an ensemble dedicated to John Coltrane’s music. He teaches at Wesleyan University.

Yoshiaki Tago directed “Worst Contact,” “Believer” and “Maid in Akihabara,” and served as assistant director on many Japanese feature films. A graduate of the prestigious Japan Academy of Moving Images, Tago frequently works on TV shows and promotional videos for pop artists, major companies and government projects. He is documenting Kageyama’s readings with music in a work-in-progress “Talking TAIKO.”

For more information, email or 090-4594-2911


Rise of the Yuricane _ Spotlight on Jazz and Poetry

We are a mom and son team _ musician Isaku Kageyama and poet Yuri Kageyama. And we were featured in this delightful and tasteful show called “Spotlight on Jazz and Poetry,” hosted by Mr. Clay Corley, Sr., who lives in Philadelphia, and is a poet and writer himself. He’s putting us in great company. Among those he has featured on his show are Ornette Coleman, Sonya Sanchez, Quincy Jones, Amiri Baraka.
It was a true discovery to experience my work in a show like this, especially juxtaposed with Isaku’s music. I thought I was so familiar with all the material. But everything felt so fresh, seeing one’s own work through someone else’s perspective.
Please click HERE to hear how Clayton has put together our poetry and music, and HERE for the conversational interview by Clayton and his poet partner Donna Kirven, about our backgrounds, feelings, lives and intentions of our art.
One question I was asked was: If I were to describe my work as a kind of food, what would that be?
So I said, “Water,” something that is everyday but essential, shining in the light into whatever color, tasteless, but becoming part of our bodies.
And Donna said that was a very unusual answer, and she liked it.
Later, I happened to look on Isaku’s blog and I saw he was likening his taiko playing to mineral water. So I guess we are a mom and son team.
Thanks for having us on the show: And thanks for supporting our work.

Terumasa Hino

Terumasa Hino with Toshiko Akiyoshi at Lake Biwa in 1986.

Sometimes there are moments in life that make an artist feel it was all worth it.
It helps when an older and more experienced artist is willing to give of him/herself and encourage a younger and less experienced artist _ giving assurance there is nothing to be afraid of, that all you have to do is be yourself.
Isaku felt just that last night _ with trumpet legend Terumasa Hino, of all people.
At a benefit for Haiti earthquake survivors, Hino casually picked up his trumpet, started playing his horn impromptu, its ring like a greeting, surprising Isaku from behind, but joining him in music, playfully chatting with Isaku’s drumming, telling him there is nothing to be afraid of, that all you have to do is be yourself.
Unlike some aspects of life, dictated by shallow rules of winning vs. losing, where petty minds pursue a zero-sum game, and the whole and the sum of its parts only negate each other into shameless nothingness, music is the pure joy of life, where the sound that is wholeness is far more beautiful than the sum of its parts.
For just a few fun moments, jazz and taiko met.

Terumasa Hino at the Budokan in Tokyo 1992.