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ichido shikai nai life (this one-chance life)
Inuki

we still have time to catch the bus going to the ocean
i feel that we shouldn’t miss it this time.


I i. the lost crayon
 1
 
 
her cape was red in my colouring book
 2
but the red crayon had slipped off
 3
somewhere on his own
 4
along the way.
 5
 
 
i wondered if he had perhaps rolled
 6
to the back of the bus,
 7
or if he was only teasing me.
 8
 
 
a week later
 9
i filed a missing persons report
 10
and i almost lost
 11
consciousness
 12
after receiving a call
 13
regarding my lost pencil crayon
 14
from the posters i had placed on
 15
telephone poles
 16
around town
 17
and the three advertisements
 18
i paid for in the newspaper.
 19
 
 
when i arrived
 20
i burst into tears,
 21
for he had been snapped
 22
in half.
 23
 
 
 
 
I ii. pulling at the ends of the earth
 24
 
 
for miles the grass grew to my knees
 25
in all four directions
 26
the horizon was visible
 27
the clouds climbed like stairs, skyward.
 28
 
 
free from its enclosure,
 29
a chestnut brown horse
 30
flew across the countryside.
 31
 
 
in the mud
 32
a scarecrow stuck out of the earth,
 33
a single stick
 34
connecting it to the world.
 35
 
 
 
 
I iii. washing away the past
 36
 
 
when i awoke
 37
i heard the steady, solemn beat
 38
of the rain
 39
against the house.
 40
out the window
 41
the leaves on bushes
 42
were splashed
 43
with droplets of rainwater.
 44
 
 
the rural roadside
 45
was wet
 46
with remorse
 47
as if trying to absolve
 48
the decline of the stock market
 49
and a single
 50
withered red rose.
 51
 
 
i smiled
 52
as nature lapped at herself,
 53
like a cat's soft sandpaper tongue
 54
cleaning its fur,
 55
until she told me
 56
that the rain was flooding
 57
the river
 58
and that the water
 59
was a breeding ground
 60
for mosquitoes.
 61
 
 
after all,
 62
we can never
 63
wash away our sins
 64
with tears.
 65
 
 
 
 
II i. temporary sleeping methods
 66
 
 
sleep came easy to my feet
 67
tucked under my underside.
 68
i squandered all my circulation
 69
on happiness
 70
and soon thereafter began to tingle.
 71
 
 
my right foot itched
 72
like pinpricks making an intrusion
 73
reminding me of the time
 74
that we fell asleep
 75
in your car,
 76
when i awakened
 77
my arm had lost all feeling
 78
while my other hand
 79
was clasped in yours.
 80
 
 
when you finally woke up at 6 AM
 81
we hardly spoke at all.
 82
 
 
before i left
 83
i kissed you on the cheek.
 84
 
 
 
 
II ii. the rusty painting of a mongolian army
 85
 
 
the drums smashed and noisemakers
 86
as the men marched
 87
against the dawn,
 88
their swords in hand,
 89
and bright green bannered uniform tails
 90
flapping wildly in the wind,
 91
barefoot, with ankle bracelets
 92
and masks of tribal paint
 93
they moved across the sand.
 94
 
 
terrifying and brilliant
 95
like an army of angels
 96
in the sky
 97
fighting for heaven
 98
they leered down
 99
at the mortals
 100
who were as inconvenient
 101
and insignificant
 102
as the grains of sand
 103
beneath their feet.
 104
 
 
 
 
III i. the life of velcro
 105
 
 
green blue of leaves
 106
difficult making out in dark
 107
waiting for-
 108
a flash!
 109
pounce
 110
leap
 111
struggle.
 112
 
 
it escaped...
 113
 
 
scramble back
 114
into bushes.
 115
green blur
 116
pad up to bowl
 117
tongue stretches out
 118
lap at water
 119
crook head
 120
gnaw on
 121
food
 122
crunch-crunch, crunch-crunch
 123
crunch-crunch, crunch...
 124
 
 
stuffed.
 125
lie down
 126
in the sun.
 127
 
 
contentment
 128
in getting stomach rubbed
 129
soft meow.
 130
 
 
 
 
III ii. a brand new fence
 131
 
 
we resurrected the old fence,
 132
murdering the old wood,
 133
knocking it to pieces with a hammer,
 134
the dragged its still-screaming corpse
 135
out of the blood covered earth.
 136
we stitched it back up
 137
with rope and
 138
sewing needles
 139
and held hot wax
 140
to its legs,
 141
then plunged it back
 142
into the molten ground,
 143
welding it with elastics,
 144
sardonic eyeballs
 145
and cathartic sardines.
 146
 
 
and so we proved
 147
that resurrection is possible.
 148
 
 
 
 
III iii. life of a mosquito
 149
 
 
bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz... splat.
 150
 
 
 
 
III iv. law of the forest
 151
 
 
out by the edge
 152
where the land plateaus
 153
and meets the threes,
 154
where the last reaches of the sun
 155
stretch out to touch the forest floor.
 156
 
 
the monarch butterfly flips opens its wings
 157
to reveal a second face
 158
of orange, black and white,
 159
a halloween mask
 160
designed
 161
to terrify all other animals.
 162
 
 
 
 
III v. life of velcro (part 2)
 163
 
 
the tawny orange cat
 164
dragged the pathetic
 165
and tiny mouse,
 166
blood bursting from its broken ear
 167
which had been mangled
 168
by those feline fangs.
 169
 
 
the cat then began
 170
to bang the still squirming
 171
and squeaking rodent
 172
against the glass door,
 173
the animal wildly flailing
 174
until at last
 175
it fell limp.
 176
 
 
IV i. conquest of the great world
 177
 
 
to the man
 178
who first crossed those aching rivers
 179
and lurching valleys,
 180
who trekked to the top
 181
of one mountain,
 182
and then the next
 183
 
 
to the man who ventured
 184
from his home
 185
by foot
 186
and horse
 187
with only a walking stick
 188
to keep him company
 189
through the cold, wintry nights,
 190
and slept under the stars.
 191
 
 
to the man,
 192
who blew the rockies
 193
to smithereens
 194
blasting a path
 195
and paving it
 196
with cement and concrete
 197
and to the man
 198
who painted the stripes on the road
 199
by hand
 200
and the man
 201
who molded the railroad,
 202
his fingers burning eternally
 203
into the track
 204
etching his soul
 205
into that shining metal
 206
 
 
to that man,
 207
i salute you,
 208
and though it is by car
 209
that i see your efforts-
 210
no, your lives' works,
 211
your great masterpieces,
 212
though i whiz by
 213
at 140 km per hour
 214
i appreciate
 215
the rustic beauty of the only souvenirs of your lives
 216
 
 
but still i smile in secret
 217
at the greater beauty
 218
of those vast and enigmatic
 219
rocky mountains,
 220
as they climb toward the sky:
 221
immovable, immutable, and omniscient,
 222
the source of which,
 223
just as mysterious
 224
as the feeling inside of me.
 225
 
 
 
 
IV ii. tale of the two hitchhikers
 226
 
 
two men stood
 227
at the edge of the road
 228
in the dark
 229
waiting for their saviour,
 230
thumbs knotted from the strain
 231
of standing,
 232
arms outstretched
 233
in the greeting signal,
 234
the universal symbol,
 235
which inspires
 236
in all inhabitants of the road
 237
holy reverence.
 238
 
 
after many long hours
 239
of wandering through the night,
 240
the stream of cars running dry,
 241
emerged two violent white headlights,
 242
sightless, glowing eyes
 243
that blinded the travelers.
 244
 
 
as the old black vehicle
 245
pulled to a stop
 246
the young men waited anxiously
 247
for a window to roll down
 248
or a door to open
 249
and the driver to step out;
 250
instead, with a squeal
 251
and a creak
 252
the back door eased open.
 253
 
 
the pair of men,
 254
gathering their bags stumbled inside
 255
not knowing their driver
 256
nor their destination.
 257
 
 
they drove for a long time,
 258
never seeing their mysterious benefactor,
 259
when at last, the car came
 260
to a dead stop
 261
in a cemetery.
 262
 
 
 
 
IV iii. decline of the mountain goat
 263
 
 
here we stand
 264
on the winding road
 265
somewhere between points A and B,
 266
but not really sure
 267
what direction to take.
 268
and part way on our journey,
 269
atop the mountainside,
 270
horns curled up alongside their heads,
 271
the goats run in groups.
 272
 
 
quite suddenly one loses its footing
 273
and for that brief second
 274
it is all flailing
 275
limbs tumbling over each other,
 276
and in the next moment
 277
it is very still.
 278
 
 
 
 
IV iv. our happiness lies with the river
 279
 
 
in the water our joy is buried,
 280
and the trees conceal our sorrow;
 281
to technology we are married,
 282
it does not look bright for tomorrow.
 283
 
 
we have created our every worry,
 284
drawn our own yellow line;
 285
we keep ourselves in a hurry,
 286
tell ourselves we’re doing fine.
 287
 
 
but every time i hear water trickle
 288
over the hammer and the sickle,
 289
i find it such a pity
 290
that i can’t escape the city.
 291

17 Jul 05

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Comments:

Liked IV iv alot.
 — junky

Good for you junky
 — unknown

Thanks, "matey"
 — junky

Inuki... I know you've worked hard and long on this, so you're not going to like everything I have to say, so please don't get offended before you really read my comment? Bene?

To my understanding and in my reading, this just reaches for more than it can hold. It's too scattered, too many facets to look at. While the individual sections are generally consistently very good, there's not enough connective fiber, whether it be thematic or structural or by pattern or whatever to justify their inclusion together. And if you personally do feel there is, you may have to consider the problem of accessibility. The connection between sections may seem natural or even clear to you, but as (if I may) an occasionally astute reader, I cannot find enough thread to connect them. Unless you have no regard for the reader, you may have to consider what is here and what is not and what needs to be.

Details & Specifics:

One of the two themes that seems prevalent, but not consistent is nature. I'm seeing it in   Iii, Iiii, IIIiv and onwards, but only as a palette, not as a point. That is to say, it's there but it's still not connected, except that you seem to be using the same imagery.  I'd like to see more of consistency. I'm not asking for strict narrative qualities or to have everything spelled out (that'd be somewhat hypocritical) but a reader needs something to connect with.

The other theme is of loss. I see it in Ii, Iiii, IIi, IVi and IViv, but it's not consistent in portrayal. That'd be fine, I could see it in terms of contrast and comparision, except that I am so distracted and thrown around by what seems like unrelated themes and lack of pattern that I can't see well enough.

That's what I have for now. Talk to me if you want more specifics. As soon as I can and probably in several increments, I will analyze each section and comment. As I said, I think individually they're mostly excellent, but simply don't work as one. I will be back.
 — dandy

heheha i like
 — unknown

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