Author Archives: traciakemi

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.

Day 365 – one

Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Day 365
3:30 pm


number one

there once
was one channel
between our lips

one ball, one tether
one push to
pull the other

after all this time
we now exist for
only one reason

to say, even the
best things are not
meant to last

no first or
last, such is
a lesson of beauty

when what is light
can carry the weight
of no meaning

initial breath shall
become final breath,
death and rebirth

there is no longer
one, or any, line
between us

last breath



Day 364 – two

Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Day 364
9:54 pm


ni, two

baggage, child
time to unzip

kernel, red
even hope
can bleed

ni, two
one pair split
to two





Day 363 – three

Monday, August 29, 2011
Day 363
7:47 pm


characters with indeterminate meaning

too much in between the space in between

not enough to calculate our likelihood of survival

habitual, unbeatable collection of customs over a short amount of time

remainder, leftover,
the balance of what is, never was, nor will ever be, enough

our impulses squandered all future gestures

you said you did, i asked if you had flashbacks of me

where we were birthed, where we shall be buried

annotated by forests, memorialized by the roots, if only by two twigs

a more realistic, much more humble amount of coverage

some would question

some might say

some have no idea

three, divining, madly in love,
the breath between us, our words, a treasure trunk, locked now

fishing with a net,
fishing with a net


Day 362 – four

Sunday, August 28, 2011
Day 362
1:37 pm



on this fourth day,
setting fire to memories
will help to release you
from my daily routines

you shall no longer
show up on my radio,
my walk to the mailbox
or my karaoke cue

in my footnotes,
my prologue,
my transitions
or my subtext

is this possible,
to think
to let go
of thinking?

four days
memory death


Day 361 – five; the stage begs

Saturday, August 27, 2011
Day 361
11:44 am; 2:45 pm



you, out of nowhere
standing, again, at my door
dreaded fantasy
the worst thing that could happen
the best thing that you could do


the stage begs

(for Marie-Reine, Peter, Julia and Stephanie)
Saturday, August 27, 2011 at Fais Do Do for Artists At Play



sometimes we believe we must beg for the arena

they took
and we protested
without arms

stood by while they
promised her the
green card and
a red carpet,
“no lines just yet,
but stand
over there,
nice and straight,
drop your chin,
and by your own
synch your waist,
strap your watch
to our clock,
you’re on call now”

she followed and
we watched without
while she shrank
into the folds of her skin

sometimes we stand center with our voice caught in the wings

when they took
we scathed
without tongues

witnessed as they
promised the
world for
Making It
so long as he
carry their dictionary
as his bible

signed their notes
of promise
to be placed
tenth folder
on the shelf
ever since
so he’s back
doing admin
five days a week
at his office desk

sometimes the proscenium sucks back the light

their identities were
encased in glass

fragmented limbs stuck
behind a beveled cabinet
eyes bulging,
cheeks stuck to the front,
next to dusty sets of
hollow gold statues

and we know too
this story

so this poem
shall end in
another world

sometimes within the black box are the only remaining bones

in some
great wash of light,
some brilliant pool of

not another dimension
near the Rosette Nebula,
nor even
the four Galilean moons
of Jupiter

it must end here
in brick walls
concrete dance floors
bad traffic
and elusive street parking

with 4 souls
in overalls
and paint buckets
and a revered donation box

and a big city with
small town life experience
standing at the edge
of its sandy roads
to protect you from
the high rollers
who’d rather offer you
straight jackets
than sincere nods

our feeble fingers
may pinch at
tiny pockets
our hands will
pull from big hearts
who know
something about
your blood and tears
and sweat

and we will be there
in the round
before the play has been penned

in the thrust
before it has been sanded down,

at the front of the house
next to critics who’ve
crossed their arms
before the show has begun,

your silk scrim,

your humble backdrop,

running up and down the rake,

we will be your apron wings

sometimes, that is all and everything you will need


Day 360 – six

Friday, August 26, 2011
Day 360
8:33 pm


six days and counting,
I am on my way to
carving a door through
the wall we once constructed

arbitrary amount of time,
but I needed to start

I see it no longer exists
and I could actually walk
straight ahead,
but I like ritual

ritual is helpful

so I burn
one ribbon
one letter
one memento
one piece of jewelry

the way I recall
you did

buried me
and us
underneath a pile
of sand
in an unmemorable
location so you can
return there someday
and we will have
no significance

that was harsh
but good

I should’ve done that

instead I sit here
far behind the curve
on this letting go thing

burning one ounce
of our weight
at a time

a piece of rope
a post-it note
an envelope
a photograph
(no, not the photograph)

but here I go,
walking this road
without you,

the way you went about it,
and never looked


Day 359 – seven

Thursday, August 25, 2011
Day 359
12:51 pm; 7:58 pm


smell of
joss paper
floats in
through the
window seemingly
out of
nowhere but
harkens invitation

I woke
with the
urge to
rid myself
of all
residual liners
in the
chambers of
my heart

I will
give myself
a week
to practice
feeling control

it is
ceremony overdue

we are
two people
in love
with two
other people,
our history
had a
terrible sense
of timing,
or humor,
you choose

nothing exists
here that
needs to
remain intact

the Chinese
burn money
to ensure
fortune to
dead spirits

perhaps our
ghost love
afterlife will
be fruitful
in friendship

the Chinese
are superstitious,
to help
the future
of the
death self

the Buddhists
are practical,
save air,
protect resources,
keep everything
without meaning,
burn nothing

we’ll see
who wins


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