Day 1 – Convenient Tongue

Oh – Edren and Erik – for my first posting [yesterday, September 1] –

i’ve read this piece out and to friends quite a bit actually, and it’s undergone re-writing since i first penned it at the end of 2007.  i wrote it both for myself and my ma as well as a great friend of mine who is also in a perpetually difficult process with her mother.  But the first people i sent this to (or could’ve sworn i sent it to) were the two of you.  This was my offering to you as my desire to be involved in some way with this new thing (at the time) called the Writers Workshop.  i was hoping to just send the two of you shtuff (and no one else!), but i guess it works out better this way.  Things surely happen for a reason.


September 1, 2009

Day 1

Convenient Tongue

She is the woman

with the unwavering shield

A bitter mask covers what lies

in the back of her throat

Or perhaps underneath a large stone

at the back of the old house

One that we’d sit on as her young children

taking pictures as holiday markers of unscathed growth

A substantial rock she may garden around

and pull weeds from

Or likely trip over while she’s paying attention

to the more important persimmon tree

And she will curse herself for tripping on that rock

the same rock that has been there all these years

In the same place

in the same picture

Plain as day

there it is

And she will stop, kneel, touch and rake the rock with her nails

as if she’s never seen a rock

As if she’s never seen the rock she’s always seen

what a fool, what triggers, what triggers such a fool

Yes indeed, she is not a fool

it never changed, it never moved, it never changed its shape

Yes indeed, she is a fool

it never changed, it never moved, it never changed its shape

Yes indeed, she will someday crumble and see all the years of her patterns

Her immobility, her nodding head, her swallowed words


She will fall in grief

but reminded, refreshed, astonished,

from the cold soil on her knees and hands

That she has in this moment, the shift within her

Epiphany will occur

Yes indeed, yes indeed

Yes indeed, yes indeed

…Yes indeed,

i am the fool

More likely she will fall,

look down at the rock

Curse herself, then curse the rock for being in the same place,

never changing for her

And i will ask her two days later

why her leg is scraped

And then why is the rock still there

in such a bad spot

And she will say the damn rock

it’s that damn rock

But leave it

It’s always been there, just leave it.

And she will move on for the sake of argument

and move back in repeated conversation

Always cursing the rock

Forgetting the rock

Tripping over the rock

And cursing it again

For she is the woman with the convenient tongue

Yes indeed

i must lead myself to believe

She may never move again

traci kato-kiriyama

Santa Barbara, CA 12/28/07


About traciakemi

traci akemi kato-kiriyama - inter/multi-disciplinary theatre/performance artist, arts educator, cultural worker, community organizer. Tuesday Night Project; theatre, performance, writing, and teaching projects with many organizations and artists including: zero 3; Edge of The World for Asian Arts Initiative in Philadelphia and the National Asian American Theatre Festival in New York; "PULL" with Kennedy Kabasares in San Francisco; Nobuko Miyamoto and Great Leap Collaboratory I; TeAda; NCRR; Oymun's 11. Playwright for "Chasing Dad - a performance of a reading about a play i'm writing" presented by Inside the Ford for the Ford's Summer Playwright series. View all posts by traciakemi

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