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The Wayward Poet

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

“Smokestacks”

smokestacks

Smokestacks,

Gray and cheerless,

Loom over East Coker,

A testament to the England of yesteryear.

There was a time,

Not long ago,

When these monstrous funnels

Belched thick clouds of black smoke

Into the atmosphere,

Unleashing a torrent of burning embers

That would fall upon the town

Like a small-scale volcanic eruption.

Now they stand silent,

Sentinels over a sleepy village,

Forgotten, but not gone.


© Chester Sakamoto

“Pazuzu”

Pazuzu

Pazuzu,

King of the demons,

Ruler of the southwestern wind,

Who waits with gaping maw

For the blood of innocents

To trickle down the gutters

Of a war-torn world,

When the erasers of history come

To destroy the remnants of civilization,

There you’ll be,

Sneering with delight

And greedily rubbing your claws together,

Calculating the death toll

In your sick, twisted mind.

 

With right hand raised,

You command attention,

Indicating the ruins that surround you,

As if to say “look on my works, ye mighty,

And despair!”

War, genocide, famine,

It was you all along

As you watched hungrily from your stone perch

Atop an ancient hill,

Overlooking a veritable ocean of eternal sand.

 

You’ve had many incarnations.

You’ve been Vlad the Impaler, Hitler, Bin Laden.

Where there is evil, you flock to it

Like flies to fresh shit,

Muttering cuneiform jargon

And preying upon the tender flesh of the helpless.

 

Prophet of doom, master of darkness,

With your hideous appearance

And frightening visage,

Spare us your influence

And rid yourself of this place,

For no matter how hard the wicked persist,

Benevolence shall always win out.


© Chester Sakamoto

“Daibutsu”

Daibutsu

Across the vast Pacific,

In the land of my father,

There stands a large bronze Buddha

Enshrined within a temple complex

In the ancient city of Nara.

With kind, gentle eyes

And outstretched hand,

He silently offers his blessing

To all who pass,

Those who are tethered by earthly restraints

And suffering.


© Chester Sakamoto

“Antithetical”

Kafka

Gazing up at the lone patch of blue sky

Visible in the space between buildings,

I long to be free of this prison

Of crippling anxiety and depression.

Balanced atop a high diving board,

I leap headfirst into the supposed security

Of an orange medicine container

Where, numbed and devoid of all feeling,

I become a robot,

Programmed with one purpose only:

To merely exist.

 

In the vast desert that stifles all creativity,

I trudge through the sand

As the hot wind scalds and burns my face.

All ideas are sucked into the massive vortex

Of a cancerous black spot

On the face of the sun.

 

Thus, my fellow thinkers and I

Are condemned to the Panopticon,

Where, devoid of all privacy, we are stripped of our clothes

And forced to pass our days in empty prison cells,

Driven mad by the incessant clicking of shameful tongues

And the dripping of a leaky faucet.

The creature next to me,

(For he has lost all semblance of humanity,)

Recites whole passages from Tropic of Cancer

And violently masturbates

To the sound of cockroaches

Scurrying up the walls.

 

What of America?  What of the world?

Is there nothing to douse the flames?

 

On immaculate suburban lawns,

The flags sit untouched,

An unnecessary display of patriotism

Long after the holiday has ended.


© Chester Sakamoto

“Supernatural Darkness”

Under Bridges

The Sea of Troubles Hamlet spoke of

Is, in fact, a real place

And I have been stranded upon it

For the better part of a year,

Desperately seeking solid ground

And a remedy for madness.

 

Standing on a corner in Union Square

On a bright afternoon in August,

Frank O’Hara calls for poetical reform,

Handing out pamphlets about the oral sex

That goes on in the back rooms of the fraternity house.

Backed by a chorus of Hare Krishnas,

They sing their praises to the Hindu deities,

Who occupy their time observing human trivialities

From the skies above the South Asian communities

Of Queens.

 

Studying Kabbalah by lamplight,

High on its divine wisdom,

The elevated train zips past my window,

Dousing the room with flickers of illuminated holiness.

Sitting in tableau

In the apartment building across the way,

The tenants resemble the saints and apostles

Of a medieval manuscript.

 

O faraway Jerusalem,

With your maze of alleyways and twisting streets,

Procure for me a place within your holy city,

So that I may be assured eternal peace.

Amen.


© Chester Sakamoto

“Fork in the Road”

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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

“Omniscience”

Eckleburg

“I contain multitudes.” –Walt Whitman 

I am a man of two time periods:

That which came before

And the present.

With one eye, I can see

Everything as it once was,

While, with the other,

I see everything as it is now.

Most people may find this a source of confusion,

But I rather enjoy it,

For it offers differing perspectives

As well as provides a visual timeline

Of the changes that have taken place

Between then and now.

 

Somewhere deep within America’s heartland,

The farmer tills his soil,

Planting seeds for the upcoming harvest

And letting his cattle out to pasture.

Elsewhere, the whir of machinery,

Symbols of ingenuity and progress,

Bring to life the factories of the North and the Great Midwest.

Here, the workers toil all the day long,

Their bodies glistening with sweat and axel grease

Until the shrill whistle blows,

Bringing about a much-needed respite

And quitting time.

In the fabled cities of the East,

Subway cars rumble beneath the surface

While aboveground, the huddled masses go about their daily affairs

Without so much as a care in the world.

 

This tapestry,

This vast mosaic

Is truly a work of art,

A thing of beauty the likes of which

The world has never seen.

It is all around me,

Yet within me at the same time,

Protected and enveloped

By a blanket of stars and stripes.


© Chester Sakamoto

 

“Alone With You”

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The city tumbles and falls.

In a darkened room,

We stand transfixed

As the silhouettes of buildings collapse one by one,

Slowly giving way to a forest of trees

And verdant, lush greenery.

It’s oddly hypnotizing

To see everything that’s familiar

Disappear before your eyes.

And yet, there is a comfort in knowing

That nature will eventually take its course.

 

The labyrinthine halls

Echo with our laughter.

Drunk on the magic

Of exciting new places

And the sultry Midwestern night,

We are impervious to the troubles of the world.

Your eyes are alight,

Alive,

As we linger on each work

And share our thoughts in a language

No one can decipher or understand.


© Chester Sakamoto

When the World Stops They Listen — Charlie Zero The Poet

For my grandpa David. R.I.P I love you papa and I miss you. To his breath stampede of skeleton pennies, blowing out earth’s detail – its oceans plea resuscitation its pulse hyperventilating like Buddha, inquietude resounds. The dream concatenates – A haven planet surrounded by billions, walking abandonedly into the crowd. An abrupt […]

via When the World Stops They Listen — Charlie Zero The Poet

This is a beautiful, deeply personal piece by my friend, Charlie Zero.  While I love and enjoy poetry, I must admit that seldom does it move me to tears.  Please do me a favor and check this man out.  His work is revolutionary, and always thought-provoking!

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