Richard Oyama

Elsewhere Now I live in a suai land of ritual forms and courtesies.There is gentleness, mi compañera, Is it that way inThe ghost world? The girls thumb their devices,Ride sidesaddle and are immaculate. The cornerMobs with motos eager to Where you go, no verbOr otherwise tense in phasaa Thai. The nightTrembles like a neon dragon. There is no paradiseExcept a pure land elsewhere. It takes upResidence in the heart, baht in the karmicMint, making merit, banking on a gloriousRebirth—a tiger, an elephant. You are a spendthriftSpirit, dearest friend, showering immaterial Balm of lovingkindness, assuming a brilliant placeAmong Cassiopeia and her seven sisters. No News The pre-dawn throws up no images, exceptThe dark sea, vertical shore ascending to tree-ridge,Palms against a sky lightening to molten-pink.Coffee suffers my touch, but heDoes not tolerate a photograph. The dog isNature itself, perpetual and mutable, moving awayLike a galaxy. The old dog Brown barks atNothing, but the unruly sea, the sea giving backIts somnolent roar like a lion. This is how Everything goes, this non-event, thisTransformation. Nothing happens,Happening all the time. Richard Oyama’s work has appeared in Premonitions: The Kaya Anthology of New Asian North American Poetry, The Nuyorasian Anthology, Breaking Silence, Dissident Song, A Gift of Tongues, Malpais Review, Mas Tequila Review and other literary journals. The Country They Know (Neuma Books 2005) is his first collection of poetry. He has a M.A. in English: Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. Oyama taught at California College of Arts in Oakland, University of California at Berkeley and University of New Mexico. His first novel, A Riot Goin’ On, is forthcoming.