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Editor's Note


SNR's Writers


leave me to my bitterness

he screams and slams the door.
the luxury of self-serving loftiness
washes away each night,
as he lies awake
hoping she will live
long enough to regret leaving him,
as he has lived long enough
to regret loving her.
still, no one is willing to concede
these little moments of bitterness,
to let him wallow,
to let him soak,
to simmer, to stew
in the heavy, warm brew
of angry thoughts
washing through his head,
wandering, waving—
like desperate kisses
on his face, his eyes,
his nose, his lips.
desperate to breathe,
desperate to sleep,
desperate to scream
at her, alone,
by himself.

A Meditation on the Tinklepaugh Study of 1928

When we used to sit around the table
and learn and read and write behind
the ominous metal door,
when the dispatches came
from the home office in Spangle, Washington,
those were our days of electrocution.

When workshops were taught
in that abandoned bank vault,
we were fascinated by the healing power
of the electricity coursing through our brains.
Those were our days of bold decisions
with the fried corpses of ideas laid out
like fresh shirts and ties before a hot date.

We were our own monkeys of expectation.
Our banana treat prize waiting
for our hands to do the taking!
Why, then, doesn’t anyone understand
our anger, our frustration at the prospect
of lettuce lurking beneath the bowl of promise?

On Viewing a Sculpture by Rodin

Is her indifference
carelessly planned,
or is she so confident
that his kiss will always be there,
upon her stomach,
that she feels no fear?

If she is heavy
with her indifference,
more concerned with her foot
than the press of his lips,
then love must be
hard. It must be heavy,
Love must dig into the knees
like the rough marble
they were pulled from,
that pushes against his legs.
His body twists,
the shoulders bend,
stretching the powerful,
the long muscles under
love’s weight.

But isn't this
what he always wanted:
her laid out before him,
there to worship,
there to praise,
there to ignore him
night after day?
His hands forever
behind his back,
her hands never
in his hair in
casual approval,
but playing with her toes.

Copyright 2009, Daryl Muranaka. © This work is protected under the U.S. copyright laws. It may not be reproduced, reprinted, reused, or altered without the expressed written permission of the author.

Daryl Muranaka attended the University of Hawai`i at Manoa, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Asian History. While there, he was a student of Naomi Shihab Nye, who was a visiting writer. In 1996, Mr. Muranaka graduated from Eastern Washington University in Cheney/Spokane with a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. From 1997 until 2000, he worked in Fukui Prefecture, Japan, as a member of Japan Exchange of Teaching Program (JET). He used this opportunity to traveled throughout Japan and other parts of Asia. While living in Japan, he earned a black belt in Aikido. Since his return to the United States, this period has proved to be a constant resource for his writing. His publication credits include Hawai`i Review, Bamboo Ridge, Poetry East, Clackamas Literary Review, Trestle Creek Review, and Asphodel, the Literary Journal of Rowan University.