Voracious reader says,
I want to eat every word, every expression, nuance, meaning
off the printed pages and cyberstic space.
Even in my dreams and fantasies, I want to consume.

I want to capture and devour them whole,
so I can masticate and swallow the whole thing in one gulp.
While captured inside, I mince them down to pieces: not to mince word.
refine and carve them as I wish
further and future, going down
chewing it up: chow down
at last, metamorphosis into my flesh.
fleshing out the flesh.

and yes, i don't know (yet)
though I am determined and heed my mind at work!
eyes go left, right, up and down through the back eye socket, sliding and wrapping around,
each slithering movement with a sharp watchful eye
eye-ing not to miss, not to drop, not to pass
the kernel of knowledge, hints, metaphor, simile, semantics, double entendre, underlined
the meaning for my carefully observed existence.

I read to search for that meaning,
to find myself, to retrieve myself, to help myself
like a self-help book
I store the words inside my mind/psyche, in my memory
to build my internal library, a psycho-library
so I can search, retrieve, articulate those words to create/validate/metamorphosize/levitate
me off the floor in the space in-between - real or fantasy
the ghost of my yearning,
the internal craving that persists, insists and ingests...

those words I thrust into my throat, my lung, my heart, my brain, my lymph nodes, my flesh -
my flesh/body remembers very well
I am drunken by those words I gulped down, leaving me full and intoxicated.
those words which others have already tasted,
previously sang and danced with fervor by some other than myself
but my body remembers words I've tasted and sang and danced
long ago, long time ago, another lifetime ago.
intoxicated, I failed to recognized as my own.

I am searching outside of myself,
searching for the meaning behind the meaning,
searching for the right expression, right word, right time
to express, to reveal, to come out from hiding,
to emerge from hem of the curtains of iron gate, locked solid
my eyes, my limbs, my hair, my skin, my mouth... my essence, my soul...
disappearing right before my eye,
for so long, I've disappeared a moment too long, and have appeared as other,
behind those iron curtain, (imagined)
drenched with blood and clenched fists still tight and knotted,
for those events, those stories (etched and carved inside)
untold, unuttered, unspoken, unvoiced, unpronounced.

but, wait! I'm not ready to leave.  I hear
muffled voice dancing toward me beckoning me from afar,
reassuring me I know this dance, and will always dance the life of dance.

the calm after the storm
storm is passing and I hear the voice getting closer,
the words more clearer,
the beat more precise.
the falsity of the calmness, the stillness, the quietude of yesteryear is passing,
the authentic self is peering out, letting the light shine from within
and knocking down and crushing everything and anything that stood in the way.
lock unhinged, metal disintegrated, voice un-tongued, words freed and released.

first time, I am tongue-tied, confused and disconnected, trying to find my rhythm.
second time, I am tripping, stammering and crying for help.
but the next time and the times after that, I will find my rhythm, my beat, my thought,
my word
as I surrender
to my own voice
which already belongs to me
which already posses the healing power,
that I have been searching for.
for which I have been yearning for.

words cascading down from these pages,
showing me its magnificence,
its mastery, its radiance, its fragility, its power, its precarious nature...
it falls one by one gently, softly, ever so gingerly onto my open palms,

this word, which I have been waiting for
I taste.

(Unpublished work by Ikehara 4/26/06)