GIFTS FROM THE DEAD a poem by Yuri Kageyama

GIFTS FROM THE DEAD
a poem by Yuri Kageyama

Graves are always There
for those Who are still
Alive to Forgive
Accept Reconcile.
They don’t Speak Back.
They don’t expect much
because
they are ready
to be Forgotten
if not
really already
Forgotten.
So when You
Go There, You
will Be Forgiven:
Grave are Gifts
from the Dead
for the Living.

At a temple in Toyokawa, Aichi Prefecture, Japan. Photo by Yuri Kageyama.

At a temple in Toyokawa, Aichi Prefecture, Japan. Photo by Yuri Kageyama.

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.

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

Life at Berklee

Life at Berklee:
Isaku in Berklee with Amelia Sophia Ali, Hiroshi Tokieda, Hirokazu Suyama.

Food Is Life Food is People _ a poem by Yuri Kageyama

Food is Life Food is People _ a poem by Yuri Kageyama

ガリガリに痩せた子供の写真みたり
お腹からチューブで栄養を与えられてる病院の父をみたくなかったり
毎日普通にたべ
時々楽しく外食
いきている
SNSで
ひとのランチなんてくだらなくてみてられないなんて言うヤツは
記者の資格
無い
ちゃんとみて社会をかんじろ
色鮮やかなサラダだろうがゆげまで写ってるラーメンだろうがコンビニだろうが海辺のカクテルだろうが
世界中のお父さんや子供達の
それぞれのイキザマが今日
ナウ
確実に
ある

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.

Goals to go for

What I found and was happy to find from taiko drummer Isaku Kageyama and what is the dream of all arists:

I wanted to play at the highest possible level that was humanly imaginable.
I wanted a feeling that somehow the music I was playing was “my own.”

who is the poet? a poem by Yuri Kageyama

who is the poet?
a poem by Yuri Kageyama

poets who pause to pontificate
poets who write for grants
poets who count syllables
poets who admire texture of words
i work and have no time
and i have no time for
poets who have all the time
poets who find poetic moments
poets who teach laureate poetry
poets who chatter on Facebook
it is blood in the veins
to kill and give birth and die
i am the true poet, not you
i am the true poet, not you
poets of the revolution
poets weeping tears at bars
poets who don’t write lyrics
poets of pure soundless music
angels of suicide
bridge of neon, cliff of ice
we are the true poets, not you
we are the true poets, not you

winning and losing

In sports, career, dating and other games people play in life, there is always a winner and there is always a loser. Most people spend their time and energy trying to win because winning is crucial to basic needs like survival. The fight of life is about reducing abuse and getting ahead. But how deceiving life can be. It is not really about this kind of winning vs. losing at all. Each and every life holds potential for being a different kind of win that produces no losers at all. Think about the certainty of death and think about what you value the most _ what gives you truest and purest fulfillment. Life is about yourself _ and only yourself. This kind of winning is about winning for yourself. It is a win that cannot be handed to you. It is not being defined outside of yourself. People can win the game of life, hoarding riches and status and empty feel-goodness and turn out a total loser in finding the meaning of life. When you create that music, that poem, that story that feels just right, and when you feel so very close to the meaning of life in that moment, that is a win. When you find that love with no reason except that you love, whether it’s for your lover, your child, your protege, your art, the people of the world, or all the generations of humankind that come after you, that is a win.

Life is good

LIFE IS GOOD.