pachinko love

The way of writing. My grass hand
floats over washi skin.
Auspicious animals, flowers,
the floating bridge of heaven.
These marks - mulitcoloured umbrellas
opening across your back.
Roof tiles glistening, from temple
to temple a simple truth unwinds.

Twilight falls like ashes over
the city. The most you can do,
hold your heart immovable.
Lean against its vertical blinds.
The fuji-colour ghosts shining
lurid promise, dance about
the office-block glass,
the multi-storey kanji boards

Shinjuku line...Sunday morning
overhang, newspaper bulk
and unironed shorts. Mr Hirohito
snoring across the aisle.
Peach Kimono waves a heart-
shaped Kitty fan, carries goldfish
delicately on her wrist, swimming
in a clear plastic sea.

All the air is full of spirits.
Amaterasu, root of imperial sky.
You ghost through red doors
of Shinto. Hours, seconds pass
at the same speed. Listen, the chanting
of monks, wooden blocks and gongs.
Black on red, the characters read themselves ; earthly meaning unnecessary.

The electric sun hanging high-
light, the devil in the detail. Hot rain
2am gaijin bar, Roppongi cloud
presses palms from the eaves.
The bartender pouring guava juice
for the unwary. We eat with our
eyes, my pachinko love criss-
crossing her chopstick legs.

Evening wind, the poplars
ease and settle. We cross
the wooden floor; nightingales
follow our footsteps.Body guards
waiting silently behind the tassled
panel. Candle shadow flickers
on painted eagles. The sound
of wooden box offerings.

You turn over the wooden washtub.
Standing on top, clothed in nothing
but leaves and flowers. Begin
a sensual dance, drumming out
a rhythm with painted feet. Your audience
shouting with delight and clapping
along till my white hands ache.
Love, what spirit are you?

The dream - a rabbit messenger
from your God. Kiyomizu temple
floating in trees. We are not
a good match. The stone dogs
wear bibs, stand guard over forest
altars. It begins to rain, dusk.
Go Go call the crows.I turn
down the path, don't look back.

God has faded from my heart.
This old craving - to walk
straight ahead day and night
without ever turning my head.
A ginger tom laps from the stone basin.
We are wound on the same spool,
obsessed by a liquid passion.
Two winged animals of Zipangu.

Celebrating Gion Matsuri
with squid on a stick, every
coloured kimono and slap-slap
clogs. You nail a straw doll
to the cedar outside, invoking
Okage - Myojin - guardian diety
especially for ladies. Place a heartfelt
curse on my receeding head.

Copyright Brian Flaherty 2003

blackmail press 40
Brian Flaherty
first published issue 6

The fecund people - Andy Leleisi'uao 2014