Declare War

From 2011, during my brief stint in slam poetry. I may record a reading if there's interest. Know is this: you are an empire of one. A singular sovereign nation…

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Diving into Shojin Ryori

Shojin ryori, put simply, is Japanese Buddhist cuisine. Written 精進料理, the first two characters indicate devotion, diligence, and an adherence to a vegetarian diet, while the latter two characters indicate…

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At this point, I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve deleted and later reestablished this site or other, older incarnations of my blog. The cycle is now familiar. First, the feeling of having something to say, but not having a suitable place to put it. Next, setting up a blog and posting some things on it. Last, getting frustrated/bored/depressed and scrapping the whole thing.

Every time I set up a blog, and every time I scrap a blog, I tell myself that’s it. But the cycle repeats. I wonder if this is the time it’ll stick.


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2019 Contractually Obliged to be Great, Court Rules

This post begins on the morning commute. My sardine-can train is slightly less packed than usual, and I’m slightly disappointed because I’m cold and exhausted. If it were more crowded, at least I’d be warmer and it would be easier to remain upright as the train rounds curves and occasionally changes tracks.


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№ 290 (Untethered)

This post originally appeared on a previous personal blog. I’m republishing it here with the original post date.

There is a large park near my apartment of which I am particularly fond. From the day I first discovered it, within weeks of moving to Tokyo, it was a place where I was automatically comfortable. It’s a place where I can go to be surrounded by big trees, hear some legitimate (if somewhat limited) sounds of nature, and occasionally meet a friendly stray cat. There’s a murder of crows that hangs out in the forest canopy above the fenced-off area where Shakujii castle stood eight hundred years ago, adjacent to Shakujiihikawa Shrine. A beautiful place given a spooky edge by the history of the place set against the eerie calls of the crows (and Japanese crows are decidedly spookier-sounding than their North American brethren). There are ample cherry blossoms in the spring and big toads in the underbrush on warm summer nights. When it rains, alien-looking flatworms emerge from the topsoil, bright yellow and strange.


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№ 289 (Somewhere in Between)

This post originally appeared on a previous personal blog. I’m republishing it here with the original post date.

I’ve tended to delete the dating apps after about three weeks, on average, then reinstall them roughly a week after that. It makes for a month-long cycle of being a sad guy, a lonely guy who’s somewhat motivated to try to meet people, a disillusioned guy who is pretty sure the whole thing is rigged (this is when the apps get deleted), and then a guy whose frustration with still being single overpowers the frustration with app-based dating and so it all begins again.


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№ 288 (To Muse on a Name)

This post originally appeared on a previous personal blog. I’m republishing it here with the original post date.

From late 2010 through early 2012, I lived in Taiwan and taught English in the Hsiaogang district of Kaohsiung. One particular day a few months into my job there, a little girl was introduced to my class, knowing no English and having no English name. In English class in some places, it is customary for a student to go by an English name, just as I went by Pedro in Spanish class throughout high school despite being named David in real life (this choice of name having to do with a comic in the back of Boy’s Life magazine in the ’80s). In any case, I was asked to give her an appropriate English name.


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