The Wayward Poet

Ruminations, Illuminations, Musings, and Original Work by Chester Sakamoto

“Spring Street”

Art Walk

“AOP ’93”

This inscription

On the side of a building,

Bleached white

Against red brick,

Its meaning lost on me

While crossing the street,

The halo from the lamppost

Illuminating each stranger’s face

Like radiant saints.

© Chester Sakamoto


“Deep Song”

Old Guitarist

I saw blood

Dripping down a young man’s arm,

Masterfully concealed by his shirtsleeves.


A river of warm desire

Reddening the cold concrete.


From Basra to Mosul,

I saw towering minarets jut skyward,

The call to prayer

Piercing the sacred silence of the valley

Like a doleful cry.


I saw swarms of sanctimonious paper airplanes

Cast their triangular shadows

Over fields of men,

Whose crestfallen faces

Were scattered upon the charred earth.

Food for the carrion birds.


In the cities of the West Coast,

I saw frogs

Raining down from the heavens,

The Ten Plagues of Egypt

Punishing humanity

For its wickedness.


I saw abandoned textile mills

On the banks of the Passaic

Rotting away to rust,

A tetanus trap

That senselessly murdered whole schools of fish.


At the Grand Canyon,

I saw the sons of Ilium

Charge off a cliff

So as not to surrender

To the conquering Greeks.


I saw life rafts

On the mighty Mississippi.

Huck Finn and Jim

Paddled on vigorously

So as to avoid censorship.


Landing on Romanian soil,

I saw the ghosts of freedom fighters

Throw Molotov cocktails at phantom tanks,

Chanting slogans in a Latin language

That conjured up images of Roman emperors.


What mean these words that I sing?

Crocodile tears aren’t very salty,

Or else they’d mean something to the average person.

© Chester Sakamoto

“Stroll on a Foggy Morning”

foggy morning

Mist shrouds the veteran cemetery,

Its cool, wispy fingers cradle each headstone

Like a consoling parent.

Here lies a young man killed in the line of duty.

Beside him, a combat veteran who stormed the beaches of Normandy

On that fateful day during World War Two.

Each grave is a library of stories

Of courage, valor, and honor.

© Chester Sakamoto

Lamas Dipped in Vagisil & Amish

This is as good as it gets, folks! My buddy, Charlie Zero, is a masterful poet, whose work is an absurdist romp through the world we think we know. Chock full of surreal imagery, you really ought to check him out. 🙂

Charlie Zero The Poet

Harpo Marx used a pizza wagon
to lure Ariel, John Hinckley,
& Lamas.
He takes them home
for soup recipes
and creates a dipping sauce
called: “Vagisil & Amish.”
Cosmo Kramer
you penny pincher scallop –
make love to the wall pervert.
Macaulay Culkin
does impressions
of KFC & Jheri curls.
Just ask Mariah Carey –
she’s a marine rectumologist,
she’s Danny DeVito’s pacifier.

Raphael wiggum,
are you rabieist? No!
Good, because imitating
Tupac Shakur is considered bronchitis.
Pineapples & Sharon Tate
tough to choose, I’ll pick…

Meredith brooks vs. Cinnamon toast crunch.
I’d love to see a Dave Chappelle skit –
involving Sammy Davis Jr. as Doctor Satan the pimp
and Mickey Rourke as Ursula the paparazzi manwhore.

You’re Welcome.

Copyright © 2017 Charlie Zero the Poet

All rights Reserved.

No part of Lamas Dipped in Vagisil & Amish – may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or…

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Adele Bloch-Bauer

Luna moth dances in flame,

A flamenco harlot with pieces of skin falling off,

Precious flakes of gold leaf

That dot a canvas of Austrian decadence.

What hieroglyphics adorn the banks of Wall Street?

Faceless drones in business suits

Stare out of large picture windows,

Fueling themselves with copious amounts of coffee

And looking down upon the waves of human refuse

In the streets below,

Upon whose backs the very idea of commerce was built.

Ah, Hamilton!

Scrappy young ruffian of the West Indies,

Who drank ale with his buddies in the stables of a tavern

That was burnt to the ground by the Redcoats

In 1776.


Q: What do you fear?

A: The future.


The tall buildings are like universities, temples,

Here to Athena, there to Poseidon,

One to Ares, god of war

And fallen men,

The walls of which run red with blood,

Polluting the waters from the Hudson Valley

To the Schuylkill River in otherworldly Pennsylvania,

Where fearful Quakers who wear their hearts on their sleeves

Prophesize impending doom and the Judgment Day.


Mosquito helicopters

Patrol the jungles of Vietnam.

Below, an army of sad young men

Trudge through the muck and the mire,

Their thoughts littered with Coca-Cola

And the Amish controversy.

Lifting the scales of justice above their heads,

They walk, like Christ, towards their execution.


In the back of a cinema

Somewhere in Nebraska,

Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas laugh at the latest news from Pyongyang

While two adolescent boys pass a flask of wine between them

And discover themselves (and each other) in the darkness.

It’s autumn somewhere, and the dead leaves fall from the trees

With the intensity of bombs.

On the distant shores of Concord, Mass.,

Thoreau drinks himself blind,

Waxing poetic about the stars he sees

From the front porch of his squatter’s shack.


Praise be to Soren Kierkegaard,

Who foretold of an era where nothing ever happens,

Yet everything is recorded.

© Chester Sakamoto

“Black Beauty (Night Train to Harlem)”

Harlem at night

Night descends upon Manhattan like a phantom.

The stars fall from the heavens,

Scattering themselves about the avenues.

Bathed in the pastry shop window’s sickly fluorescence,

I tumble down the hell-mouth of the subway station

And catch the uptown express

For Harlem.


Moonlight on the Hudson

As we emerge from underground

And make our way skyward.

The ragged man across from me sings folk songs,

Guitar in hand and desperation in his voice

While the elderly woman in the corner munches on lotus blossoms,

Her vacant stare revealing all the hardships she’s seen,

And me,

Listening to Sketches of Spain

On this “elevated” train.

© Chester Sakamoto

“Most Excellent Fancy”

Et In Arcadia Ego


Shrill cries from the canning factory.

Truman has been defeated! –this latest development

Comes on the heels of a blood moon,

Solar eclipse,

And rain of frogs

Over Dutchess County—

All in one week.

Now, in the waning days of the empire,

We busy ourselves with trivialities:

Spending money on frivolous gifts,

Drastically changing our appearance,

Or worse,

Locking ourselves within a prison-house of language.


Detroit is no more.

The whir of machinery slows to a halt.

The tenement homes are scrubbed clean to make way for new victims

Of poverty and woe.

Abandon industry!

Shatter the clocks and calendars to which you are tethered!

Reclaim nature! –as thousands flock

To the wilds of Central Park.

There, baring themselves to the elements,

They make love,

Create art,

And forge a new utopia

Amid the surrounding squalor and moral decay.

© Chester Sakamoto

“Return to Eden”


The earth breathes through the reeds

As a gentle breeze caresses the tops of the tall grass.

From the gray skies, a rain of ash

Like hellfire on the sinners of the world.

Follow the wooden path through dragonfly fields

(Those graceful lords of the air,)

Past the tree-line of Douglas firs

And enter a world untamed by man,

Flanked by walls of granite a mile high,

Whose faces were carved by the hands of God.


The ancient woods echo with laughter.

Here, a trio of young men

Charge, naked, for the cool, inviting waters of the river,

Returning, for a moment, to that idyllic paradise

Before the Fall,

Upon whose shores teem and glisten with gold.


Majestic sphinx,

Eternal guardian who holds up the sky

And has witnessed the passing of the ages,

Protect this hallowed ground,

Keep holy this sacred place.

© Chester Sakamoto

“Fork in the Road”


Driving down a wide country road

In the backwoods of Kentucky,

The sound of the blues rides the airwaves,

Rocking me to my core.

My soul shakes before the eyes of God

(a.k.a. Robert Johnson)

As he sits on a fire hydrant on the corner of an empty intersection,

Hitchhiking and grinning at each passing driver,

Seeking salvation from his hellish fate

And looking to gain entrance into heaven.

Mephistopheles, have mercy on his soul,

For he knows which way the wind blows.


Let us take a moment to observe the sunflower,

A rather large, prehistoric plant

That transforms any field or garden into a primeval forest.

On its tall, art nouveau stalks

Rest any and all manner of insect,

Gnawing away at the fanlike leaves with an appetite like that of vagrants

And vagabonds.


Horse Country,

A land of Southern pride and hospitality

Where a friendly smile goes a long way

And the people you encounter on the street

Share their intimacy with you,

A lover’s embrace

In the sultry, languorous air,

Which is heavy with the scent of bourbon.


Sunset like a Rothko print,

Vibrant colors clearly separated,

Yet melding into one.

Gazing longingly to the North,

The faint glow of the Queen City

Promises freedom from the pain

Of earthly struggles.

© Chester Sakamoto

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