My Poem “ode to the stroller” now part of the Public Poetry Series

My Poem “ode to the stroller” now part of the Public Poetry Series.
Poetry by Yuri Kageyama.
Read by Hirokazu “Jackson” Suyama.
Film by Adam Lewis.

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

Poetry Kanto 2014

Three of my works are featured in this annual publication.

Three of my works are featured in this annual publication.

My works just got published in Poetry Kanto 2014. an annual and multicultural compilation put out by Alan Botsford. The pieces are: “blank spaces over generations,” a poem about how our love for poetry is so often misunderstood and ends up being painful; “The Crooked Smile,” a short poem about motherhood and giving birth, one of my favorite themes, and “Why the Japanese Love Michael Jackson” _ well, just what it says. Naturally, I am in great company. I am always amazed at how poetry brings us together. There is so much goodness in this world. Thank you, Alan.

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.

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

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.

September 2014.
A New York Film Academy student music movie film.

Shinimonogurui _ a Poem by Yuri Kageyama

Shinimonogurui _ a Poem by Yuri Kageyama


Japanophile _ Part 1 A Story by Yuri Kageyama

I woke up this morning with the certainty that I had just given birth.
The sensation was unforgettable, a soreness, more like a heaviness, at the pit of my lower stomach below my navel, that could remember a brutal tugging, tearing away at my insides, leaving me raw and bleeding. I could feel that warm wetness at my vagina, making my skin chilly as I sensed the liquid spread and clung to the sheets.
Having a truck run over you must leave you with this same feeling, but it would require a super-thin truck crunching over only your lower stomach.
I closed my eyes tight and shuddered, tucking my chin below the cream-colored flannel sheets, maybe trying to forget the pain, maybe trying to fall back asleep again, sinking into my burning-red dream again, as that was what it must have been _ a dream of giving birth? Or was it?
Did I just have yet another abortion? Or did I really give birth and since I am alone in my bed, was the baby whisked away, stolen from me before I could even see him, or was it her, claim the baby as my own?
But I must have given birth, really.
Why else would I be bleeding? Why else was there this throbbing that remembered with a certainty that was physical, like a slap, that someone was there, inside of me, before I awoke, maybe an hour ago, maybe a few minutes ago.
Surely, the baby had been there inside my uterus, which probably was snatched away with the baby, all while I was asleep, leaving me with this emptiness, this groaning pain.
For months, I had known this baby. I had grown accustomed to its presence, and I know it was a big-headed bulgy-eyed fish bobbing inside me, sometimes sucking on its thumb, sometimes chuckling, sometimes even asking what kind of life awaited when it was born.
He was already an individual, confident of his goals, his identity, that conviction he was there growing inside of me for a purpose, that he belonged there.
And so I was not that surprised he had left so soon.
But I missed him. I did not intend to claim him as my baby the way ordinary mothers would, as something dependent and therefore weaker in status.
He had been a guest from the start, proudly using my uterus, and promising to stay and be my child only if he felt like it and I fit his needs.
Even then, we had been so close for 10 months, or rather, because he had been inside me, a part of me. He took the food I ate to use as nutrients to grow from fish or worm to half-man inside my uterus.
So at that point at the umblical cord serving as a pipe so the baby could get nutrition to grow, never mind my uterus had gone missing, we were connected, and that was supposed to be eternal, long after the baby was born.
We were one, together, the same.
If I jumped from a loud sound, a door slamming, the crash of lightning, a harsh yell, he would jump, too, first inside of me before he was born, and now somewhere, wherever he was. If I drank a lot of chamomile tea, the baby would sneeze like I would sneeze. If I had chocolate cake, he would murmur, “Yummmy,” and feel his blood sugar level perk.
That was how close we were, inseparable, one, together and the same.
I knew what kind of look he would have when he jumped, sneezed or said, “Yummy,” even before he was born.
He had those impish eyes, that proud puckered mouth, that mischevous smile.
I own you, Mom. You will serve me forever, and you will learn so much from being my mother, he would be saying through that umblical cord like a playful toy-telephone connection inside my belly that I could easily decipher in my head, the same way dolphins communicate with each other in the ocean, bouncing sonic waves like ripples of aminiotic fluid.
We’ll have great times together, if you play this game right and I decide I like you, he was saying, even though from his tone, I could tell he was joking.
You will take one look at me, when I am born, and our eyes will meet _ my pale gray tiny eyes and yours, amazed and delighted and relieved the birth is finally over _ in a perfect magical moment.
And you will know I am the one, the one who had been with you all these months, he said. You will recognize me, instantly, of course.
And I will own you _ my mother.
I started to resent how the baby was not with me in the bed, as he should have been, when he was born, maybe not this time in my dream, and surely not that other time when the fetus was aborted, but you know that time, that real time, that time when he had been born.
No, it wasn’t resentment at all.
It was a soothing acceptance of knowing how I had given birth, maybe the same birth over and over, no matter how many times the baby went missing, or the baby got aborted, or even when I woke up to see he had been stolen from me in my dreams.
I knew I had given birth again.

Abortion _ a poem by Yuri Kageyama

_ a poem by Yuri Kageyama

circling earth spinning mind
I dread the scalpel and the guilt
the blood does not come

words careless words carefree
letters like scalpels that bleed
I am made of words

so without love
the fetus wrenched from within
so I turn to words

a story stillborn
abortion resurrected
yet I am made of words

taste the characters
sumi stroke patterns cover
my pale naked skin

come home my baby
womb wounds of words gaping wide
uterus darkness

^ — < This is a poem that developed out of an exchange with a writer on Twitter. The lines are all from my part of the exchange, but we set up a rule so that each had to follow an idea from the other, especially the last line, as an inspiration springboard for the next three lines of haiku. We wrote three lines each day. And we took turns. I never told this other person I was writing about abortion. I have subsequently changed the “we” in some lines to “I.” I guess I wanted the statements to be softer in the Twitter exchange by making them come from “we.” But I really meant “I.” I am grateful to the tweeter who helped me write this poem, a segment at a time, a day at a time, and to Twitter for giving us as a tool for personal poetic expression. It has a different feel from a poem written in a single sitting.

love over time

love over time
a poem by Yuri Kageyama

if you have to ask
it is not love
you would be there
right now
making that love
over time
if it is not
love now
if you can think
it is not love
life without your
giving that love
over time
into love

hey _ this poem is fit for a greeting card !
so perfectly timed: happy holidays.
not that i understand love at all.
but i do believe that if you can sit back and analyze if this or that relationship should or should not be pursued, well, that’s not love.
love means there is no other way of thinking.
love means no choices.
you have to be with this person and there is no other way about it.
you want to give, no conditions attached, despite all the betrayals, disappointments, hardships and maybe even the realization the love was just an illusion and not real at all.
over all that time, what you did, what you chose to stand behind _
and that you _ are real.
that’s not an illusion, right?
you are that person.
and all those years _ that history _ over which you lived life believing in that love, no one can take that away from you.
you earned it.
that’s love.

Mamako Yoneyama makes dishes fly for women

Long before working mothers became so accepted they’re TV-drama heroines, there was a gathering of feminists in Tokyo, where pantomimist Mamako Yoneyama performed a piece on womanhood that ended with her hurling paper plates into the air,
luminous white circles flying like spaceships, one by one, from her hand toward us, gifts of strength and hope.
They were just pieces of paper after they fell to earth.
But Yoneyama, with her voice, movement, character and presence, made them undoubtedly artistic statements.
Maybe things have changed for the younger generation.
But back then, when I was juggling job and motherhood, I was treated as an anomaly to be despised, maybe someone who was abusing her child with neglect.
Kids would come up to my son and ask with a straight face: Do you have a mother?
So unused were they to the idea that a mom could possibly be working and couldn’t be there to pick them up, volunteer with the PTA, gossip in school hallways, schmooze with teachers.
The image was unforgettable _ a woman tackling a humble stack of dishes _ transforming them with the beauty of movement, a whip of her delicate wrist, into a galaxy of light defying gravity.
After it was over, we gasped in a moment of joyous silence.
I want to read a poem and throw paper plates into the air _ line by line, in homage of Yoneyama.

From Yuri To Yuri

From Yuri To Yuri _ Japanese Womanhood Across Borders Of Time
A Contemporary Renku Poem (a work in progress)
By Yuri Matsueda and Yuri Kageyama.

take this knife
lay it down on a round table of
rotting wood
a child trapped in a body with
big pale breasts
a lipstick mouth
listen to the end
in silence
a frog with a tadpole tail
a tadpole with frog legs
too much
hope isn’t good
you know what
to do
when things never change


^___< (16)
hot roses vapored
became instant ash
left their reflection on his bones
highlighted in green
he is
as they say clean

^___< (17)
to yuri from yuri
my solitary audience in blindness
i speak to you
our world sighs breathing in poem
a wilting whimper
a stabbing flash of sunflower
don’t cry, don’t die, don’t lie
no one listens in deafness
but you speak to me
you are my solitary audience

preceding sections:



(1-6) _ where it all started, and which goes to show sometimes all you need is one person to connect with in a special way to create poetry.
Yuri and I are both women bilingual/bicultural poets/writers with what we feel is a special sensitivity.
It goes without saying we realize we are creating for a niche market. Just kidding.
It makes sense to us and that’s what counts.