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Poetry #236
(published July 21, 2005)
Chuo Sen
by Brett Richard Fennessy
The muffled subway rumble
is like the lullaby of death
Our eyes stare straight ahead
and we all dream of life

We stumble to the workplace
where we scratch and flinch and lie
and claw our own flesh bloody
as we sit at our desks

The foreman sits above us
with his robot insect eyes
We kill him in our dreams,
in life we compromise

Our skins are pale and greening
our eyes are deep and dull
our abdomens are heavy
and our limbs are thin

We gather in the evening
to justify our hate,
Pretend we all are brothers
and discuss our fate

Then we stagger to the subway,
then we take our place in hell
Our vacant eyes cloud over
and we all dream of life

Author's Note: "Conditions in Japan are not improving for anyone—over 30,000 suicides per year for over five years now; Japan is like a nation at war with itself. The title of this poem is "chuo-sen", which is the incredibly crowded central train line in Tokyo, which many people choose to jump in front of rather than board, especially in these balmy days of spring.

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