Day 281 – still

Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Day 281
2:38 pm



(as read at the memorial for John Delloro on June 19, 2010)


“Sleep peacefully, for your labors are done,
Your pains are turned into tales and songs”

– Carlos Bulosan, excerpt from “Now That You Are Still”
(as seen on the wall of the
Eastern Hotel in Seattle)

Woke up angrier
than yesterday
Not angry with the
but with you
my friend

Wrote you a plea
of a poem
this morning and
oh, how angry
I was at you

So mad for
you leaving us here
with your big plans

I begged, demanded
you quit this death thing
to come back

Walking with my anxiety
around Seattle,
the tourist I am in this city,
Trying to keep my steam quiet
as we were with family to
receive a personal tour
Placing myself
in angles and corners of
the International District
and saw locations of return
for No-No Boys after the war
Where they got off the train,
fought in alleyways,
stayed at the Panama Hotel
and it is still there

Still, with
In the back of my mind
Making me upset
Making me walk fast

Making me scream inside
at every passing building

(Why would you leave us
so soon? Didn’t you plan
to grow old with all
of us so we could build the
rest of our neighborhoods
and talk about it later? Tell
the younger ones who was
fighting with who and why
despite the old buildings
still left standing?)

We kept walking
pointing and noting
the history
Until finally
stopped me
right there

Another historic site
We saw 1909
from the front door of
the Eastern Hotel
Carlos Bulosan
for the glory of
a memorial housed
in that lobby for his name

Door locked
I had to press my nose
to the glass to
see past the glare

And the first thing I could
read across the wall
spoke like a
soft shouting

Sleep peacefully, for your labors are done,
Your pains are turned into tales and songs

from wherever you are,
the delivery was a gentle blow

made me
stay there
out of breath
In disbelief but wiser
for you having me stand,
awash in those words

Evaporating anger,
back into tears

made me contemplate
your place in this world,
Yours was a moment
however brief
but not fleeting

deepened our roots as
you toiled with the earth,
It is on us now
to turn the soil

You, who
joins Mr. Bulosan,
deserves to laugh
with new company

You, who
knew those
words and we
would find each other
because you are
woven through each line
You are the poem
You are now our tales and songs

who we must watch over,
Must put to sleep now
and let you rest
peacefully, ever

(in memory of John Delloro)
(let us become your tales and songs)


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

2 responses to “Day 281 – still

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: