Archives des articles tagués Japan

She had a purported sense of loneliness back then
back there,
a purposely avoidant stare
of the clearly ambiguous type.
As words were raging and raving
around her like unleashed katanas
or revolving doors,
she raced to hide into tapioca pearls
– the one time she had found some, debutante’s luck –
or apples as big as her face,

Buying food out of a 500 yen coin
biking it off,
soon biking from one konbini to another
without buying anything
’cause nothing was worth more than emptiness,
the sword-carved and stud-crafted sort.

She only had words and shame coming out,
an acid string she would fill her room with
in small bundles of well-known acrimony

Of the rigid type, she was
most unlike me this poem this story
telling with many directions and blunders
how she came to be me.

Okāsan had a pure sense of connection – she still has
even though she’s not okāsan anymore –
with her purple art stare-making
up the clearly extrovert type.
(I bet she, the one that’s I, became a little like her, the one that’s she
over time spent
and money in konbinis
over food that we did eat.
But I am skipping steps now,
avoiding the core
that’s essential
as usual.)

CORE (to be sung over and over, as there is no other verse to come):

As she made me list all the times in my life
I had been saved by luck or whatever
I wanted (it) to be,
she set a dim fire in my heart,
the one that tastes like matcha
gently rocking.
Then as if not enough she put out
my burning hand with hers,
and I can still feel raging and raving katanas,
a hurl of untouched coins,
my metallic bubble of fear shaken up
for not having been touched in eight months
(inside or outside).

*This poem, her/my story in Ōsaka, was written for dVerse Poets Pub, and will most probably be published in my upcoming ebook, Borders.


The wind still smells the same
and brings nothing
but all my memories in one shot
down the gust, down my guts.
Time is flying inside me
one shot, strong spirit
drawing back my stomach
from under the soils.
Another internal flight,
another domestic crawl.


The cold still feels the same
and brings home
a suitcase that’s heavier than me
starting now
snow will punch holes in me
will patch me with holy
shared from winters in.
Love organs:
another all-white horizon,
another night on the sofa.


If it hasn’t killed me leaving
will have worn out
my string of days, so fragile
of a hundred twenty five million hai‘s
before my eyes. What’s close
is not even able to make it
-self another place among them,
another pace among traps.


If it hasn’t awakened me coming home
will have called me again,
recalled the string of years, the knots, the ribbons
and balls behind the sofa.
Being back is leaving again
in the past, in the vast
nothingness that’s pretense of nostalgia
that my eyes sniff in those cities of yes‘s
and yet without finding
anything else than wanderlust,
anything else than punishment.


Deliberate, my exiles stick
a bar into my mouth
a nail into my foot
and my other, rusty.
Every cure will have to be
geographic, metallic.
There’s an earth spinning around me,
months pass but don’t stop.
Other red leaves straight in my teeths,
other dead words rummaging in.


Deliberate, my escapes smash
a shot of wine down my throat
waste this body that’s suffering
too much alcohol.
Strangled memories,
estranged futures.
« Paris is spitting on us », he said
with love in his eyes
and am I not also
just another nostalgia hunter,
just another raincloud stirrer?

*This poem has been published in its original French version in the magazine La Tribune juive. I am still working on this English translation, but because the theme of this week’s dVerse Poets Pub is exile, I thought I could share it with you.

I got tired of being negative about Japan. After my boyfriend told me I was the best hater of Japan (« la meilleure détesteuse de Japon ») he knew, and after a recovery advocate I feel so much admiration for, Voice in Recovery, declared March the Embrace Joy Month, I felt compelled – propelled by my helixes inside – to be part of it too.

After all, have I not always been the girl you hated because she was so optimistic? « Oh, it’s fine; I missed my plane because of this strike, but that will just give me more time to read these crappy magazines I usually don’t have time for. » Have I not always been hated because everything seemed to work so well for me? Lucky, or talented, or blessed, or good at controlling things; whatever you may call it, you’re right. It’s hard to find something to complain about when things flow so smoothly…

…Would you say. But I won’t.

‘Cause whatever the circumstances, it might be easy to give in to criticism… Much more easy than to feel gratitude for the positive aspects – even though we’re almost drown in the positive, like I feel I’ve always been.

Got it? The slightest problem feels overwhelming… when compared to the usual situation, i.e. no problem whatsoever.

And follow me in this roller coaster ride of mine! Euphoria! Down. Euphoria! Down. In the air! On the ground. Spread on the ground, should I say. Stomped on. Not « grounded »; this I can’t fully feel yet, ’cause that’s too « middle », « balanced » an emotion.

And Japan… I hate it AND I love it. Lately, I have been hating it for having put me down. (But is it really Japan’s fault? Or mine, for not listening to my aspirations? Or is there a fault in the first place? After all I did end up listening to my heart, so where’s the problem?)

The problem is that EVERYTHING did not go well. It was not an escalation of pure moments of glory, always more and more glorious. So I felt it as a failure.

Did I say « glory » instead of « joy »? I’m sorry, it’s a typo.

When I don’t get my daily intake of glory, euphoria and the all-transcending happiness, I feel like something’s missing… so I feel down. After all, « febrility is a state of art » (quoting myself here, upcoming book of poetry), and if we’re not doing art, then we’re doing nothing worth…

Hum. Could I just be content? Satisfied? Grateful? And… joyful? Yes. Sometimes I get tired of playing extremes in my internal drama, and I find the balance (really? yes.) to look at the now. Then I can’t really feel dissatisfied. Not bad, my life, hey?

It’s just that drama is a state of art, too. Too bad inspiration comes best when I am in a melancholic mood. Sweet, blue melancholy… Sweet, creative hate… Sweet, cold irony…

I commit to writing about positive things as well. To share positivity in order to have more of it. More of these blessed moments of free dancing. Of this unending learning. Of this air biting my lungs. Of these Aimee-times steeped in inspiring words and tea.

Why would I still be such a hater of Japan? Am I not in Japan anymore?

Ô Joy! Ô sweet, sweet Irony…

Ce blogue doit retrouver une raison d’être.

Le Japon m’aime-t-il toujours même si je l’ai lâchement abandonné ? L’aimé-je encore autant ?

Loin des yeux, loin du coeur, clameront certains d’un air de défi. Loin des yeux, près du coeur, répliqueront d’autres, plus larmoyants.

Je n’ose pas user d’un proverbe d’une façon aussi tranchante. Bien sûr, la neige et le froid de Montréal occupent ma vue et mes muscles depuis mon retour, mais le Japon revient souvent, tel un frisson parfois doux, parfois désagréable. En fait, un frisson qui réchauffe parce qu’il est ce qu’il est, soit une contraction quelque peu déplaisante.

Le Japon est partout, que je le veuille ou non : dans ma bouche qui le raconte sans cesse, dans ma théière qui en infuse les feuilles, dans mon Internet qui me rappelle les amis là-bas, et même dans ma recherche d’un emploi qui y fasse honneur.

Le Japon est dans mon coeur, quoi. Même si la dure vie japonaise n’est pas ce que je cherche, et que j’y préfère le croustillant et la mollesse de la vie montréalaise, le Japon que j’aime peut rester en moi. Je n’ai pas besoin de le nier; de toute façon, ce serait comme renier une part de moi.

Mes mille projets parleront d’eux-mêmes.


Distance Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

This blog needs a new raison d’être.

Does Japan still love me even if I’ve left it so cowardly? Do I still love it even so?

Some will dare defy me and proclaim, “Out of sight, out of mind”. Others will let go between their tears, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder”.

I can’t use such sharp sayings. Of course, since I came back to Montreal, my sight and muscles have been busy dealing with snow and frost, but Japan has kept showing up a lot, making me shiver in a sometimes sweet, sometimes unpleasant way. In fact, this shivering, just because it is a shivering – not so pleasant a contraction – has actually warmed me up.

Japan is everywhere, whether I like it or not: in my mouth when speaking endlessly about it, in my teapot while steeping its leaves, in my Internet when remembering friends are alive and well there, even in my search for a job that would honour this country.

Right, Japan is in my heart. Even though I’m not looking for the harsh Japanese life, and I prefer the crispier but mellower Montreal life, Japan as I love it can still stay in my heart. I don’t have to deny it; anyway, denying it would be like denying a part of myself. From now on this blog’s tone may be different, but the main thema will stay unchanged in essence: how a foreigner’s sensitivity feels Japan. I may feel it from a distance now, but I am confident that this love-hate relationship will endure. I’ll keep you posted on how I get a foothold in this shifting relationship.

A thousand projects will speak for me.