Monday, August 3, 2009

KONCH Summer 2009


My poem "Little YELLOW Slut" is in KONCH Summer 2009 edition.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Little YELLOW Slut" is a powerful piece. I'm curious about what you consider its primary inspiration to be. Is the predominant emotion towards the stereotpyically fetishized Asian woman one of pity or disgust? To what degree is she a victim of "Big Master" or some other force such as Japanese social pressures (and hence deserving of pity) and to what degree is she responsible for her own predicament (and hence worthy of a certain contempt)? Also, are you generally pessimistic about intercultural romantic relationships between gaijin and Japanese? Sorry if I am overanalyzing your poem, which I certainly enjoyed on an aesthetic level for its vicious yet rhapsodic diction and imagery, but it raises some important issues which I feel are worthy of discussion. Thanks in advance for your commentary.

YURI KAGEYAMA said...

The primary emotion is anger _ but anger against racism.
Looking at a person for race (or gender, class, ethnicity, etc.) is wrong, but such divisions are rampant in the world today.
Race should not matter.
I am tying to address that desire/vision in the poem, as in all my works.
Poets must believe this in pursuing their art.
I am not sure if that falls under pity or disgust, or both.
I embrace the world and all its potential for change.
Stereotyping in sexual relationships/gender definitions is just one way racism plays out.
This is not to say that cultural differences should be denied.
Such differences should be celebrated.
But the celebration has nothing to do with racism, which is always wrong.
This is such a complex issue that a proper analysis would require years of research.
A poem can be more intuitive and reach to the heart of the human condition in a matter of minutes!
The poem isn't about passing judgment on intercultural relationships, which are personal matters.
Since I believe that fundamentally race doesn't/shouldn't matter, race does not predetermine the success of a relationship.
That is up to the individuals involved.
I would hope love is based on who the person is _ certainly not on some idea about that person's race.
The poem condemns racism by highlighting one kind of racist view of Asian women.
But the poem can mean different things to different people.
It is meant to provoke and get the reader thinking _ and maybe become less racist after reading it.
Thank you for your comment.
And thanks for reading my poem.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your reply. I especially like what you have to say about provocation. More important than any moral or ethical "message" is the poem's ability to stir the reader's emotions and challenge his or her thoughts/assumptions. "Little YELLOW Slut" is certainly successful in this regard. Provoking a reaction is also the primary aesthetic purpose of my Seoul-based literary/arts magazine KOREALITY. It is actually now available at the independent bookstore Irregular Rhythm Asylum in Shinjuku, but I would be happy to send you some copies directly. What is your mailing address/contact information? We writers based in Asia should be more familiar with each other's work.

YURI KAGEYAMA said...

I would like to check out Koreality very much. Thanks for offering to send some copies. Please kindly mail to:
Yuri Kageyama
c/o The AP
Shiodome Media Tower 7th Floor
1-7-1 Higashi Shimbashi
Minato-ku Tokyo

Please include your mailing address in that, and I'll mail you my publications in return, if you're interested. I'd also like to submit to your magazine. Thanks for taking the time out to reach out to a fellow writer in Asia.

Anonymous said...

I'd be very interested in reading more of your work. Please send to:

Maku
401 JR Silktel
83-25 Yeokchon 2 Dong
Eunpyeong-Gu, Seoul 122-903
KOREA.

I'll be mailing you samples of KOREALITY this week. We welcome your submissions. Our readers would be particularly interested in your impressions of Korea and the Korealist movement. Cheers.

YURI KAGEYAMA said...

Hi Maku
I've sent you a package of books and poems, which should be arriving soon _ if it hasn't arrived already.
KOREALITY is filled with the same energy that keeps me writing poems.
Thank you.
The connection means a lot to me.