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.

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

My Poem a Finalist Winner in Cultural Weekly

WHAT GREAT COMPANY.
My Poem “No Gift of the Magi” is among nine finalist winners in a Cultural Weekly poetry contest.
It’s all the more special when I love the other winning poems, too.
Our performance gets featured in _ where else? Cultural Weekly.

No Gift of the Magi
A Poem by Yuri Kageyama
With Bass by Hiroshi Tokieda
Film by Adam Lewis

A reading at the Japan Writers Conference in Okinawa, Japan, Nov. 2, 2013.

we were poor
not dirt poor but poor
me a reporter at the local rag
you a stay-at-home dad and part-time English teacher
and so when i opened that velveteen box
you handed me oh so casually on
Christmas eve
palpitating
anticipation about a
gem or jewel or sparkle
that other girls get
and saw a plain black fountain
pen
the kind no one uses anymore
mont blanc or some other brand requiring finger-smudging
ink,
i was angry
“why did you buy this and
waste money?”
and then you
suddenly
moved
and i thought you were going to hit me
and you took the pen
and broke it in half
hot with something
that was beyond
the anger i felt
sour-tasting disappointment
a feeling of not being
loved
not like that O. Henry story
where the comb unwanted, the watch band unwanted
were simple
priceless proofs of
true love
undeniable,
not that dumb purchase filled with
hate,
and you looked up
and said what I didn’t
think of and what you didn’t
want to say
at all,
“I bought you a pen
because you are
a writer
and that’s what writers use
_ a pen.”

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

DEMON WORSHIP
A poem by YURI KAGEYAMA
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-
ments
fitting
so perfectly
my internal space of stars

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

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

like our love

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

My latest is in KONCH magazine, an Ishmael Reed and Tennessee Reed publication

My prose poem “Dec. 12, 2012, The Very Special Day _ a Prose Poem” gets published in the October issue of KONCH magazine, an Ishmael Reed and Tennessee Reed publication. It is a story about the discrimination in Japan against Japanese Americans. It is also a story of survival. It is a story about defying discrimination. And I am in great company in this publication with the likes of Alejandro Murguia and Ishmael Hope.

Why the Japanese Love Michael Jackson, an essay by Yuri Kageyama

Why the Japanese Love Michael Jackson
By YURI KAGEYAMA

“MY-keh-rooh,” as Japanese fans adoringly call him, never had to worry about being perceived a wacko-weirdo here _ a culture where neoteny, or the celebration of juvenile traits, and the cross-gender persona, as in effeminate men and masculine women, are at the core of this nation’s highest art forms.
Japanese are used to seeing in its top artists the very traits that some Westerners found so creepy and appalling in Michael Jackson.
It’s not surprising Japanese, long known for their worship of American musicians and movie stars, came out screaming and cheering at sell-out stadiums during Jackson’s “Thriller”-day heights of the 1980s.
But Japanese came out screaming and cheering even in recent years when Jackson was in Tokyo for shopping sprees at gadget stores, visits to Disneyland and Joypolis, an amusement park run by game-maker Sega, and tightly orchestrated events for fans, where he didn’t sing a single note or glide a single Moon-walk.
He was MY-keh-rooh, the gloved man-child, sweet, innocent, pure _ and oh, so “kawaii.”
Kawaii literally translates as “cute.” But the Japanese has none of the connotations of sexuality associated with the word in the West.
An old man, a subcompact car, something as innocuous as an umbrella, digital camera or kitchen utensil, even something grotesque like a horror-film creature can be potentially kawaii.
Kawaii is about the emotion evoked by a child from its parent, and so is linked in the Japanese mind with the most basic and honorable instinct for the preservation of the species.
It is about love. And it is virtuous.
Kawaii-ness is the keystone of artistic sensibilities from as far back as the Edo Period, prevalent in Hokusai woodblock prints. It is very much alive today in “manga” comics filled with doe-eyed heroes, as well as in the Mickey-Mouse parody sculptures and drawings of Takashi Murakami.
By Western standards, kawaii is embarrassingly frivolous _ like an adult being caught clutching a stuffed animal.
But it’s taken very seriously in Japanese art.
So the King of Pop cavorting on amusement-park rides, cuddling Bubbles the chimp, collecting dolls and playing with children are far more easily accepted as normal adult behavior in Japanese culture.
It is aesthetically almost a modern-day “Tale of Genji,” a floating-world quest for the essence of beauty in a child.
Fans worshiped Jackson not only for his obviously dazzling singing and dancing talents.
As neoteny believers, they were able to take at face value without the cynical doubts, more typical of the Western intelligentsia, his “We Are the World” messages on peace and spirituality.
Jackson could do no wrong as a kawaii guy with his soft velvety voice and shy quiet mannerisms, even as his nose changed sizes and his skin changed tones, no matter.
Take any Japanese MJ fan. Ask him or her whether Jackson is kawaii. And the answer would be a definitive “Yes.”
Jackson was a genius at perpetually staying the child. Even in his final photos, he looks pretty kawaii, especially for a man in his 50s.
Jackson was a master at blurring social barriers, and his denials of such definitions went beyond just age: Black, he looks white. Male, he looks so pretty he is asexual.
That is another reason why Jackson has endeared himself to the Japanese psyche.
A womanly male is about as high as one can get in the pinnacle of Japanese art, as evident in the world of Kabuki, where all roles, including those of women, are played by men.
As a counterpoint to this male-oriented theater is the world of Takarazuka, where all roles, including those of men, are played by women.
Japan is still such a sexually divided society, despite the recent advancement of women, people enjoy the escape that art offers in seeing categorizations turned upside down.
Perhaps it can be said that social definitions are so rigid in the mainstream an artist, by definition, is expected to defy them.
In Kabuki, the denials of convention extend to age. An 80-year-old master routinely plays a teen-age village damsel, and a proper Japanese won’t blink an eye.
Akihiro Miwa is an example of a highly respected artist who has made his fame on being a transvestite, the kind of character more common in San Francisco Finnochio’s in the West, not the acclaimed works of Yukio Mishima and Shuji Terayama, in which Miwa was the star.
In his early years, Miwa still looked more or less like a man but wore makeup. These days, he wears evening gowns, sports blonde curls and speaks in the language of women. Japanese love him and seek him out for career advice as though he is a shaman.
Jackson appears rather sedate next to the bejeweled Miwa or the 80-year-old Kabuki master.
Jackson’s death was big news in Japan. But the national mourning was not a splashy loud affair. Fans came out to buy the CDs they still didn’t have in their collection. They watched his videos together at Tower Records. They just wanted to be there, they said, to share that moment with others of like minds. Never mind they had the videos at home.
To the fans, Jackson was a beautiful person.
They became almost weepy when they talked about the allegations of child molestation he had endured. It worked out as a a boon for Jackson that Japanese tend to be mistrustful of the justice system. There are just too many cases of wrongful imprisonment. The first ever jury trial started only in 2009, the year of Jackson’s death.
In one high-profile case, Toshikazu Sugaya, a bus driver, served 17 years of a life sentence after being convicted of charges of murdering a 4-year-old, because of police profiling him as a pedophile, as well as because of coerced confessions that experts say are common in this nation’s police investigations.
Sugaya was released in 2009, after a long legal struggle, and only after DNA tests proved his innocence. Japanese suspect there are many like Sugaya in the prisons, and he was just lucky he had DNA tests.
Jackson was acquitted of all charges in 2005.
Media reports surfaced shortly before his death that Jackson had shown an interest in a young Japanese gymnast and had wanted to meet her.
Perhaps they would have married, some speculative but excited reports suggested _ if only he hadn’t died.
It would have been a marriage made in heaven for Japan.
In true exaltation, we could have witnessed Jackson obliterate yet another painful divisive barrier _ that of insider vs. outsider, or the Japanese vs. the “gaijin” foreigner.
By taking a Japanese wife, he would have almost turned Japanese, becoming one of us.

a message to children

a message to children
by YURI KAGEYAMA

Children, it is a myth that loving someone is this fairy tale.
It’s just pain that defies logic.
If we chose a person to love by logic or by weighing advantages, that won’t be love.
But whatever that essence in our soul that makes us love _ despite how foolish and painful and useless it is _ is what drives music, poetry, life, art, meaning.
It’s like this: No matter what your child is who is born to you, no matter how sick or disabled, male or female or in-between, no matter, it doesn’t matter, you as a mother would instantly love that child.
So if one loves another adult as partner, friend, collaborator, roommate, lover, it is, in principle, no different.
If you were giving to get something out of it, that wouldn’t be love, just a contract.
That’s why love is not even really needed for survival, which is about other things.
Love is so filled with suffering, so unrewarding and draining in its own right, it is utter madness.
So, children, go out and love this world.

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