COME IN TOKYO

TOKYO VISION

Today concrete and steel, tomorrow steel and concrete, a bright shiny seaweed Nirvana with karaoke and double chins. The enormous city, where ghost wannabes float over night driving ranges, reality gathered together in 24-hour life sentences, alleyway amnesia dumpsters, giant video screens talking in voices never used for speaking. Every day dreamers create the city, imagine its invisible lines of escape, its taxi lines, its glass walls; construct wonders, seasons and smoke. Behold the trains circling and rushing underground, electric steel passing by beer gardens, art museums, yellow pants, radiant fish cakes, Mickey & Minney walking hand in hand. Look at the egoless department stores loaded with everything, desireless restaurants fifty floors in the night sky, suicides, disasters, the moon reflected in chauffeur- driven limousines. The city will disappear. The Universe will disappear. Disappear then reappear. Then disappear again. There is no before or after. Trembling city under the volcanos eye. The immense city full of illusion, anxiety, magic, neon money numbers, ghosts of Saipan, Iwo Jima, Manchuko, Nanking, the Coral Sea, Okinawa. See the incandescent frozen fire. Death to Kim Jung Il. Death to chop suey. Death to Chicken McNuggets and the Atomic Bomb. A new Japan will rise from the ashes. What goes around comes around in a powerful river of asphalt, cement, restless spirits, endless desire. Behold the cherry blossoms at Ueno, the autumn leaves in Gyoenmae, summer heat, winter slush: We have four seasons in this country. We dream the city. We are the city. The city is us. Walking around the city we encounter the city: ramen breath, streets of genius, curry beef, iron shutters, Hollywood movies, hair-of –the-dog, airless evenings, subterranean shaking, unfinished buildings. The city where we charge everything, overcome whole worlds of suffering, eat live fish, honor the war dead, float on an empty tide of silent voices. Where we gaze upon the Meiji Shrine. Yasukuni Shrine. Death Fugues. Alcoholic saints. Human clay. Cloudy archipelagos. I speak of the city built by sweat and wind, by ants and cardboard, inhabited by plastic souls, stray dogs, sushi bubbles, blind pigeons, erotic masks, sumo bellies. The city devastated by fusillades of tobacco coughs, shrieking J-pop, flying golfballs, enka moaning, boiling seas. Presently oppressive conformity, later conformist oppression, the past buried and twisted every day, lived together in lines appearing and disappearing, quicksand, funny valentines, kabuki fire drills. Tokyo, Sunday, 06/24/07