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Ten Minutes Over Tokyo

“An imagined world where life and myth condense to form

a disconcerting picture of the human predicament.”¹

The City of Beasts,

leveled in ’54

when it earned its nickname,

as Gojira flattened the buildings,

smashed the tanks.

With the fear of the Atomic Age

at the fore,

Kenzaburō Ōe was starting

his career.

Writing and hoping

the generations to come

would bring peace.

A radiation-free horizon

for his strange work.

Nine years of strife and reflection,

he saw the birth of his son.

Someone else’s feet

to wander the land of

the rising sun.

With ascending arpeggios

of flute and piano,

the son of Kenzaburō staggers

beyond the treble clef

and beyond tomorrow’s sorrow.


he has taught us to outgrow

our madness

and listen to the songs of birds.

Those ascending arpeggios

teach us to see with our ears

and feel with our hearts.

Gojira cannot squash these dreams.

Gojira will see with his ears

and feel with his heart.

  1. Ōe, Kenzaburō. From Nobel Acceptance Speech.1994.


Andre F. Peltier is a Lecturer III at Eastern Michigan University where he has taught African American Literature, Afrofuturism, Science Fiction, Poetry, and Freshman Composition since 1998. He lives in Ypsilanti, MI, with his wife, children, turtles, dog, and cat. His poetry has appeared in Big Whoopie Deal, In Parentheses, Griffel Magazine, Fahmidan Journal, The Write Launch, and Tofu Ink and is forthcoming in The Great Lakes Review, La Piccioletta Barca, Prospectus, Sledgehammer, Melbourne Culture Corner, The JFA Human Rights Journal, Spillover Mag, and an anthology from Quillkeepers Press. In his free time, he obsesses about soccer and comic books.

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