Tuesday, 28 January 2014

(Poem) Waiting for a date in Shinjuku


Overhead lights
Undertoe, frog splashing
Neon ripples
Remnants of a postwar human frenzy
Still casting shadows at the end of the night

I stand here
Usagi in the headlights
In Omoide Yokocho
Piss alley turned memory lane
Isn’t drunkenness supposed to kill your memories - the ones the B29s couldn't?

The city hangs overhead
Searchlights evanesce
Caricatured modernity envelops Showa movie sets
The clash of light
Too much to bear

It would all be too easy
To play the role of the drunken tengu
In the backalleys of Shinjuku
Hypnotized by the hanging masses, comforted by the steady hum
Of postwar light fixtures and the underground thrum

Eventually someone
Will flatten this quadrant of space and time
And I could lying drunk across this alley
Arthur Dent on the Sumida
Waiting to see who rusts first

Pinpricks of towerlight tap my skull
Worker bees still at it
Keeping the city alight
And irrelevance-free
The modern still hasn’t punched out, don’t you know?

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