Day 101 – Scale – 25 – justice

Friday, December 10, 2010
Day 101
7:25 pm, 12:20 am

Scale – 25 – justice

“Superman is dead. What are we gonna do now?”
– Frank Chin, at today’s funeral
service for Frank Emi (1916-2010)

A man’s stature,
stretched by grace or strength,
for Frank it was both

Turtleneck underneath a sport coat
tucked below square shoulders
and hair slicked back with a
decent dollop of Three Flowers,

He obliged my eager college student
inquiries about his life since resisting
the draft to challenge a constitution
gone haywire come world war
mixing poorly with yellow skin

He’d make me funny sandwiches,
thick, fried bologna inside wheat
bread with a thick layer of lettuce
and a single pickle in the middle,
sliced about 2 inches tall

I could tell he probably didn’t cook
a lot for others or himself, but what
he could do with complete ease
was talk a righteous hole through any
oral history or wavering courtroom

Like any service honoring heroes,
words at today’s memorial were
not generous, just true

All I really found myself wanting
to hear were the stories of him
back in Leavenworth, or responding
to some punk well into his eighties,
no one getting hurt only because
of Frank’s decision to have it so

I offered incense, focusing less
on the inside of the casket and
more in remembrance of his gait,
elegant mostly because of its
principle and partly because he
knew everyone was better off
if they didn’t mess with him

I was reminded, while we look
for the vigor and vitality of
righteousness among youth,
justice can also come in
a single, old package,
but have no idea

we can see a great, great
man on the street and have
no idea, except for a trace
of grace, or strength,
or both

tkk

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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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