Thursday, December 28, 2006

The New Year Approaches...

...but with great gilded coaches, or battalions of roaches?

At this stage--on December 28th--it is pretty hard to tell. The rumbling of the future always sounds the same to me, no matter what is coming--blood, thunder, or just the usual cast of idiots, committing the usual blunders.

All I will say is that things seem satisfactory today. My cholesterol is low. I have been averaging about 1000 calories worth of cardio work at the YMCA, 3x per week.
I have not been bombed today. I could be a bit taller, perhaps, and thinner. But then, who couldn't be?

Generally speaking, plans are proceeding according to plan--which is a nice thing for plans to do. I have scheduled a move to Japan for 2007. Probably to teach English, also to learn Japanese, but more than anything to secretly settle down with my friend Takaaki--to see if we can establish some kind of existence for ourselves.

In September, I donated most of my life to charity, reducing the volume of my possessions to two cartons of letters, a few photographs, a cedar box marked with the legend ‘Dad’ (it used to belong to my grandfather), a red calf-skin bound Bible from the Lighthouse Baptist Church, North Tonawanda, NY, and a kidney-shaped, evergreen ashtray I put together in 7th grade ceramics class. And my white Apple laptop. And the first 60 episodes of Bleach.

“Simplify, simplify,” was Thoreau's most transcendental advice. And I think I have tried to follow it to the best of my abilities. Simplification is not for everyone, but it does seem to agree with me. Perhaps being a simpleton helps. It certainly doesn't hurt. That is, unless you have 2,000 kanji to learn...

We’ll see how things go in Japan. All I am certain about today is that a bachelor’s cabin on a lake in Massachusetts is not for me. Nor is the Lake Shore Limited--not anymore, anyway.

Not after being seduced by the Shinkansen, anyway.

I think I am totally in love.

The Heron and the Crab

Are you enjoying Minneapolis?
I sit here typing on a purple train
Which has stalled outside of Beverly,
Massachusetts. And it looks like rain.

The ghostly fingers of a hurricane
Are creeping up this section of the coast.
If we were home—back in Manhattan—we
Might see lightning buttering our toast.

This morning, for my breakfast, all I had
Was twenty Tylenol. How do I feel
About you moving back to Tokyo?
The damage it will do will be unreal.

I rest my temple on the window pane.
A heron daintily devours a crab
Abandoned by the surf in that salt-marsh
Out there. I love that bird. I am so glad

I noticed him. You know, if you were here
I’d say, “I bet that bird is Japanese—
He’s having one of your weird breakfasts.” He
Tears that crabby heart apart with ease.

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