Frightening Things

By David Mura b. 1952 David Mura
After wandering years
Basho returned
to gaze at his umbilical cord
pickled in a jar. Plopped
in brine years ago
like the frog in the pond
in his famous haiku.
Of course
fame meant nothing
to him. He stood
in the blazing rain
in his family graveyard
and as a crow squawked overhead
the stones proclaimed him
the last of his line. He
kept feeling inside his
straw raincoat for a missing
limb or the hole where
the wind and rain
flew in. I'll get drunk
tonight, he thought,
and his eyelashes glistened
as he trudged back
to his hermit's hut
to gaze again at the jar.


David Mura, "Frightening Things" from The Last Incantations. Copyright © 2014 by David Mura.  Reprinted by permission of Northwestern University Press.

Source: The Last Incantations (TriQuarterly Books, 2014)

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Poet David Mura b. 1952

Subjects Living, Relationships, Home Life, Social Commentaries, Popular Culture

Poetic Terms Free Verse

Biography

Poet and memoirist David Mura creates his work from the perspective of a Sansei—a third-generation Japanese-American. In both his poetry and his nonfiction, Mura deals with themes such as racism, sexuality, and what it means to be Japanese American.

Mura's first memoir, Turning Japanese: Memoirs of a Sansei, Mura writes of the year he spent in Japan on a writing fellowship. His account of the year abroad, which brought him . . .

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Poems by David Mura

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Relationships, Home Life, Social Commentaries, Popular Culture

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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