Poetry Mountain

Richard Hamasaki  

Poetry Mountain: online journal
Contemporary Poets Archive
Classic Poets Archive
Literary Magazines
In-Print Poetry Books (Search)
Writing Contests
Award Winners
Funding Opportunities
Writing Programs
General Resources
For Students
For Teachers
About This Site

The Shadow Waters blog

Donate to Site

Contact Us
Found broken links?
Want something added?
Get our eNewsletter

Richard Hamasaki's home is in Kane'ohe, on the island of O'ahu. He has published two poetry chapbooks, 7 Poems/8 Photographs (with brother Mark Hamasaki), and virtual fleality. Hamasaki co-produces a series of publications, including spoken word and music recordings, and he writes articles, reviews, and essays, as well as poetry.

A Review of Hamasaki's From the Spider Bone Diaries
"Artificial Curiosities" in Tinfish Magazine


Two Poems:


Most Amerikans are monolingual
          — they hate it when you speak
                    anything but English
Most Amerikans don't vote
          — does that mean they're free
                    apathetic or disenfranchised?
Most Amerikans cannot tell you the meaning of Minnesota, Dakota,
          Massachusetts or Potomac
                    but they’re always “proud to be American”
Most Amerikans will insist on buying anything that they desire
          even if they can't afford it
Most Amerikans own more things
          than anyone else in the world
Most Amerikans think that if you live in Texas
          then you're Texan
Most Amerikans think that if you live in a place called "Hawaii"
          then you're "Hawaiian"
Most Amerikans would agree that stealing is a sin
Most Amerikans don't understand what leasehold land is
          but the bankers in Hawai'i do
Most Amerikans don't know that  N  F  S means
          NOT    FOR    SALE
Most Amerikans would be very disappointed if they went into a store
          and everything was  N  F  S
                    — that would be like going to a museum
Most Amerikans believe very strongly in their God
          and that their beliefs along with their daughters and sons are   N  F  S
                    NOT    FOR    SALE
Most Amerikans, however, don't really understand   N  F  S  especially when
          an individual aboriginal, native tribe or an indigenous group of people
                    insists that their lands are   N  F  S
                              NOT    FOR    SALE
Most Amerikans say they want world peace but they also
          want a piece of land
                    even when the land isn't theirs
Most Amerikans will say that Amerika doesn't tolerate H A T E
          especially when preparing for
                    or in the midst of war
Most Amerikans don't realize that selling the concept of war
          is very easy in Amerika
                    because war destroys things
                              and in Amerika
                                       everyone wants to buy more and more things
Most Amerikans don't respect anyone who doesn't put up a fight
          so one must deal with Amerikan aggression and ignorance
                    with cunning stratagems
                              and unprecedented resistance
Most Amerikans will never truly understand that    N   F   S
          means    NOT    FOR    SALE
                    because most Amerikans would say that    N    F    S
                              means   N O    F U C K I N G    S H I T ?

[from From the Spider Bone Diaries: Poems and Songs (2000)]


Mountains in the Sea

Parched eyes cannot slake this vision:
Waikiki appears dry, wanton,
Bleached in a brown hunger
Thirsty concrete cracks the jagged horizon

Famine of wind
Heat without thunder
Moisture without rainfall
Kalakaua's long shadows exhale premonitions

Through brittle panes of glass:
Smoky in slats of dark morning
Red points of light beset sheer walls
Towered cement pierces the sky, blinking

Blackened roads glisten with oil
The newspaper quickly turns damp
Earth exudes its color
In graveyards plumerias shape ghostly figures

Rain slants gently from grey mist
Grey mist turns to thick clouds
Rainfall shatters the congested streets
Beats endlessly, quivers, a cold breeze

Beyond streaked windows:
The cluster of hotels has disappeared along the beach
Wounded mountain sides feed muddy streams
Muddy streams pour red upon the reefs.

[from From the Spider Bone Diaries: Poems and Songs (2000)]



Advertise With Us

    (All poems are copyrighted by the author. The poems here were excerpted from a longer work for the purpose of promoting the author and his or her poetry. )      
Last Updated: Sat, July 1, 2006
©2006 John Struloeff -- All Rights Reserved.