Trailer for [Robert Okaji’s] Chapbook — O at the Edges

Just going to put this here. All you discerning readers know what to do.

The trailer for my chapbook, From Every Moment a Second, is available for viewing on YouTube. Many thanks to Ken Gierke for assembling these scattered lines and images into a greater whole. Please note: prepublication sales determine the print run, which means this stage is crucial in terms of how many copies will be printed […]

via Trailer for My Chapbook — O at the Edges

Mush for Thanksgiving

So, before the day gets away from me completely and I slip into a carb/gravy/pie induced state of torpor, I just wanted to say, thank you.

I’m pretty technologically oriented. I’ve worked with computers in one way or another since I had the original Commodore Vic 20. If you had one when they came out, then you’re old like me. I wrote my first computer program by copying it out of a magazine, typing it into a BASIC compiler, and saving it to a cassette tape. Magazines, BASIC, cassettes… how Fred Flintstone can you get? Anyway, you’re probably a little better at figuring out smart phones than your parents are, too. And while I enjoy the gadgets, the internet, and all it has to offer, I can honestly say that this is first time that I have found a community online that I feel I belong to.

I’m not sure what drives traffic to my site. I know that a year ago, I first began to see real growth in the number of visitors I’ve had. I won’t lie and say those lives and views in the dashboard are unimportant to me. They matter because it means I’ve connected.

So thank you. Thank you for connecting with me. Thank you for reading, for commenting, for liking, for coming back.

I may be back with a poem of my own later, but to tide you over, here’s one that showed up in my inbox from this morning. I’m just providing the link, but it’s worth your time.

W. S. Merwin

See you after nap time.

Poet 20151128

To see a world in a grain of sand
And a heaven in a wild flower,

Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour.

–William Blake,
from Auguries of Innocence

Today is William Blake’s birthday. He is one of my favorite poets, one I still turn to when I want to see how someone forcefully made the world into a place habitable for himself.

Poet 20150912

Today I am reading Song of Myself #51, by Walt Whitman. I grabbed the text from here.

The past and present wilt—I have fill’d them, emptied them,
And proceed to fill my next fold of the future.

Listener up there! what have you to confide to me?
Look in my face while I snuff the sidle of evening,
(Talk honestly, no one else hears you, and I stay only a minute longer.)

Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)

I concentrate toward them that are nigh, I wait on the door-slab.

Who has done his day’s work? who will soonest be through with his supper?
Who wishes to walk with me?

Will you speak before I am gone? will you prove already too late?

Poet 20150904

So, I usually write a haiku on Friday. I love the form and I try to read a lot of the classic poets (in translation–my Japanese is practically illiteracy). Since I wrote a funny poem poem, I thought I should look for a humorous poem from one of the masters.

The fly on the porch
while rubbing its hands–


from Haiku Humor: Wit and Folly in Japanese Poems and Prints
By Stephen Addiss
with Fumiko and Akira Yamamoto

(I love the haiku books edited/translated by Addiss and published by Weatherhill/Shambhala. Many are out of print, but if you can find them, snatch them up.)

Poet 20150815: Stephen Crane

This is a new thing.

I will occasionally post a poem by another poet as in, not me, fully attributed. I’m guessing most of these poets will be dead. Maybe we can start a society or something.

I doubt I will add any comments, as this isn’t about analysis so much as sharing something that was, to me, arresting.

In the Desert
by Stephen Crane

In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
Who, squatting upon the ground,
Held his heart in his hands,
And ate of it.
I said, “Is it good, friend?”
“It is bitter—bitter,” he answered;

“But I like it
“Because it is bitter,
“And because it is my heart.”