Escolha o seu idioma de preferência para tirar o máximo proveito das páginas do nosso Jornal:
English 日本語 Español Português

Fizemos muitas melhoras nas seções do nosso Jornal. Por favor, envie-nos a sua opinião ao escrever para editor@DiscoverNikkei.org!

Nikkei a Descoberto: uma coluna de poesia

Place / Location

This month, we feature just one writer and a beloved one to the Discover Nikkei space at that—Chicago native, Erik Matsunaga. Erik’s piece is a simple moment between old childhood pals and one that sets an image of “home” or places of significance that are, at once, transient and meaningful…enjoy.

—traci kato-kiriyama

* * * * *

Erik Matsunaga is a Chicago-born fourth generation Nikkei American of Japanese and German descent. In addition to regular contributions to Discover Nikkei, his extensive research into Chicago’s Japanese American community has been most recently featured on WBEZ Chicago Public Radio’s The Afternoon Shift and the Alphawood Gallery’s exhibit, Then They Came for Me. A former graphic designer and small press publisher, he currently works in the manufacturing sector, rides BMX, and manages Ravenswood Shorin-ryu Karate Dojo. He resides with his wife and children on Chicago’s North Side.

Reunion

It had been nearly sixty years
since Al, a Nisei octogenarian,
had been back to his hometown -
a small farming community
in California’s Central Valley.

Forcibly removed to Arizona
in his early twenties,
Al had resettled in Chicago,
trading his agricultural roots
for an industrial future
in the Midwestern Rust Belt.

The death of his brother-in-law
prompted his return.

Standing in a buffet line
at the post-funeral reception,
an elderly gentleman waiting
next to Al stuck out his hand.

“I’M KIKUCHI,” he said
with the frowny gruff
typical of their generation.

“KOGA,” Al returned in kind.

Albeit born and bred Americans,
they used the Japanese convention
of introducing themselves
last name first.

The two shook hands.

“I KNEW A KOGA.
WHAT’S YOUR FIRST NAME?”

“AL.”

“OH. I KNEW A YUKIO KOGA.”

“THAT’S ME,” replied Al,
matter-of-factly.
“HOW DO WE KNOW EACH OTHER.”

“DEL REY ELEMENTARY.
I’M BERT KIKUCHI.
USED TO GO BY BUNTARO.”

“I REMEMBER A BUNTARO KIKUCHI.
WE PLAYED MARBLES.”

“THAT’S ME.”

“GOOD TO SEE YOU,” Al said.

“YOU TOO.”

Al and Bert scooped their plates
full of chinameshi,
then went their separate ways.

Al returned to Chicago
the following morning,
Bert to wherever

he had made his home.

 

© 2017 Erik Matsunaga

chicago Erik Matsunaga Nikkei Uncovered poet poetry reunion

Sobre esta série

Nikkei a Descoberto: uma coluna de poesia é um espaço para a comunidade Nikkei compartilhar histórias através de diversos textos sobre cultura, história e experiências pessoais. A coluna conta com uma ampla variedade de formas poéticas e assuntos com temas que incluem história, raízes, identidade; história - passado no presente; comida como ritual, celebração e legado; ritual e suposições da tradição; lugar, localização e comunidade; e amor.

Convidamos a autora, artista e poeta Traci Kato-Kiriyama para ser curadora dessa coluna mensal de poesia, na qual publicaremos um ou dois poetas na terceira quinta-feira de cada mês - de escritores experientes ou jovens, novos na poesia, a autores publicados de todo o país. Esperamos revelar uma rede de vozes relacionadas por meio de inúmeras diferenças e experiências conectadas.