the poetry that matters

Jane Joritz-Nakagawa

Jane Joritz-Nakagawa is Associate Professor, Aichi University of Education, Japan. Her work has been published in the journals Cordite, Jacket, FourW, Otoliths, Shearsman, New American Writing, 580 Split, Tinfish, One Less, CaKe, Bateau, Eleven Eleven and Yomimono.

She has published four poetry collections: Skin Museum, Avant Books, 2006; Aquiline, Printed Matter Press, 2007; EXHIBIT C, Ahadada Books, 2008; The Meditations, Otoliths, 2009; with a 5th, incidental music forthcoming in 2010.


          tree with no roots                police find fingerprints


let's do lunch              american idol is a good show    

          the rich are different                    i'd like more coffers

flameproof objects of the rushing river are part of the

                   renovated pundit fest

                   assembling echoes for a childless sky 

          sublimity yawns                 

          apocalypse lacks decorum 

ive won ten contests                     been on tv          win every


           wear my poetry like a stole  


breakfast: fools who speak the truth wearing patent leather

lunch: reluctant journeys blotted out by homecomings

dinner:  tubercular compassion

unique survival strategies           face on a shrimp       

  ethnic Barbie

          to repeat this message press one         a hollowed army

                            & winged roofs

have i become dead grass or just my hair            naked tears

                                               are dissipated rot

          because of the consent of language              struck out

from different water
phallus like a boiled crab            enemies behind eyes  

          those who fear

my bushy palace        song like pleasure boats   in love with

          his granite vessel

irrelevant buds   long yellowed lips    weather like satin      

no trespass erases

          revolving whiskers             servile rumors           

                                                         continuous shrug

                   loneliness activators           secret tabloids

distilled parades          fluroscent breathing                    avoid the

          fetus wrapped town 

           traveling in soprano                    floral parodies           

          alas and alas 

summoned to the capital             between the clouds and

desert storm

white hair and            strangers' hands look the same


          static smiles       downtown ingredients        


gross misconduct        rustic fractions      

                                            disinclined to move

scholarly plastic         world respecting

cinnamon           vexing catwalk

     evil sanctuary              floppy name        scent

of                      elbows

alleys of swans    gentrified uptalk   ready to die 

     boat on a glass

tomorrow over beers         teen skull              in

easy installments

     a little altitude spontaneous vivisection      

frivolous pandemics

 empty arms fall to the floor

wrists reborn              island breaths             my hair


                   foggy drownings       summer gallops

           flowery gruel             smiling slaves            perfumed salve

serpentine detergent                             flick of a canyon         peony



coming ice age     neo-raspberries                recalcitrant pose 

          platonic soldier          trophy wife                 homeland


manual labor is              preferable to

 the theoretical

                   (so                        i wrote

 with my                        hands)

decorative earthquakes                narcissistic food

trees looking at me             years passed and     

                   too busy to plan my suicide        farewell boxes


 fortified glottis         

          chamber saga     town salad   

          eroticized biohazard           selective birthmarks                   
                   insurance clunker   


 junk science     monkey astronaut     vigilante insects  

           imperial atrophy

          sightseeing bombs     nullified meteorology         

enhanced venom   



tissue sample diplomacy            septic warfare   


          sabotage magnet       high alert       ruthless zeroes    

                            amputee simulations                   violent alibi       triple speak

because of                   hemorrhage notwithstanding               fatal


                   mythical insurgents            ruthless placenta                


dispute                        control towers            heathen vision           

stimulus package      abduction probe        uncertain fate             

peak result

          fuzzy mortgage                   unveiled asylum        enlarged


                   graft trial                     electronic of      


continual oversights


          pre-existing conditions      neon city            alien atone

                   facial injury

geek paradise             sinking diary              robotic trout              

cleric kitsch

          wet mesh                     animal drama             commercial


outsourced forest                          maiden voyage          naive


                            fire at wedding kills dozens of women

brainstorm blackout           booby trap navigation

          computer gondola

          timid syllable                       spy chorus        

weapons concierge             colonial vaccine                   death

panel         rustling defects

          shamanic plague                 lifestyle intervention                  

undocumented worker

          racial mistranslation           advanced directive   

          lazy susan         

bitter darwin               filthy kimono              stupidity quotient

                                                                                     19 killed in prison riot

he said he needs to be in miami as his personality is

opposite (do i need

  to                                                                                be here….)

                                      tried reasoning with myself        but failed this

           too can reflect light             familiar always retreat

happiness is a door from which you            can always


          movements slower than i            can


      will soon make a           brief stop           after preparing

          melody carefully it             fell apart i've prepaid

 trees and dispersed moon desire                tends to

coincide    with serpentine

          images emote withdrawal          because metaphor is

already on sale

in every global supermarket                         where to begin


          peace is a crumbling balcony              just beyond our


my will became          casually flattened                dreams

                   changing in texture

          depending on the globe's angle

cheesy make up

          garden party               hip hop              water closet                

transparent blouse

iMac          ebay          elusive gay rights               war-torn prowess   

patronizing tongue depression           dilapidated

                                      deconstructive surgery

          corrupted information flows acquiring special secret


let us make merry

bete noire 

          latent horsetail           abject sedan       fucks you blind

to fly up from the face of the earth

hapless scar of neo-intellect wound property               

          post op bling

                                      let us make merry while we may

a fine kettle of wishes on fire whenever

          toilet sounds

                   wrapped in unanimous towels           cemented

down in the basement

                                      forest investigation                       seizure party

          a proper amount of famine                  audible

          overgrown devils subsisting on cleavage and

damaged                     parts of speech

a browser which does not support               cookies oatmeal
or chocolate or with dolphin

           bits with their brains bashed out of them

                             brain collapsed from the weight

anonymous capillaries in the thicket line up like thieves

          frigate fractionne piled up tempo

punitive airstrike to perfect the innocent off the perky radar

                   off the record

the doctor wiped the cream slowly on my clitoris until my thighs moved

my brother asked me to have sex with him

a stranger whacked me repeatedly on the side of the head before stuffing
          me into his car

then the policeman attacked me in the patrol car

another policeman to whom i reported the robbery repeatedly called my office 
          asking for a date (i was seventeen)

doctors who gave me no nightgown told me i had to walk naked to the xray
          machine laughing all the way

& i received cigarettes for my sixteenth birthday

 brain collapsed from the weight

addictive lice    always volunteer to comb my hair

          falling secrets             foil new experiments

overlooking caves oversee creaky medicines     

          medicinal colors pulse       downward


          hopes for more palatable menaces

                                      i would like to be the white lab coat

on the bottom of the sea

          no longer sure if the world is               available

let us make merry while we

disoriented in the baby factory while dislodging

          authoritative terrain tending

to complain a bit too loudly

                   in advanced stages of retreat

          cheek a patient battleground for your tongue

wondering if gravity will return to television

                                       what to return  & who      

          stole my intestines                       during

my sleep

 brain collapsed from the weight

curve of the sun matching the curve of

my curse


 converting into regret

never manage to find the cargo you've hidden for me

or grow into a painting i later grow out of

like a business ca(r)d                   invisible black light            xray


                    such small nodes

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