Grandpa Dug a Hole Beneath the Tangerine Tree

via Grandpa Dug a Hole Beneath the Tangerine Tree

I wrote a new poem not that long ago after I took Maya to see the hina dolls at the Boston Childrens’ Museum for Hinamatsuri (Girls’ Day). Maya has a small set of display dolls, not the traditional display, but ones of little girls my mother has bought for her over the past few years and a few others she’s collected on the way. Maya had seen pictures of the traditional display but had never seen one “in true life” before.

Many years ago, my mother did have a set like this. We have a picture of it. Mom in a high chair, about 1-year-old, next to an impressive display of an imperial court. It’s the only picture because the next Girls’ Day, we were at war and, according to the story, my grandfather buried the dolls, hiding our Japanese-ness. When the war was over and he retrieved them, they had been destroyed by bugs underground.

The poem was written considering the hole that loss had left, and how that loss can continue to echo generations later. This was a very minor casualty of war, but from here we can extrapolate the bigger ones, see how the echoes of our decisions today shake the realities of tomorrow. It isn’t just the people who die in war, it’s those who survive and those who descend from them that continue to pay the price. This isn’t to say that war is always unnecessary. The war that took those dolls away was absolutely necessary. But the price for even a just war comes due, and then we all have to pay for it.

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Do you feel like a successful poet? 7 ways to cope in the meantime

This is a good bit of advice.


When I first got serious about writing poetry (2003-ish), the measures of success seemed relatively simple: delight in the writing process, publish poems in journals, win a book contest and find a poetry community. While all have been elusive at various times and in varying degrees, the only one that’s entirely evaded me (to date) is “win a book contest.” And since the current manuscript was a semi-finalist/finalist in five really great contests this year, I hope even “win a book contest” isn’t too far fetched. (And please, let it be not too far off. LOL)

So why is it so easy to feel like a failure?

Part of it, admittedly, is personality. Patience is not my strong suit, I’m my worst critic, etc., etc. But part of it is also that the traditional measures of success — fame, fortune — aren’t at play in poetry. Even the…

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U.S. servicemen’s hike on Mount Fuji turns into rescue mission, netizens are awed and grateful

Having done this particular hike, it can be challenging. I can’t imagine carrying someone for two miles of it.

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Speculative Fiction

One of my poems that appeared over the weekend on Eunoia Review. The other can be found here: Chaff.

As always, thank you to Ian Chung for his support and hard work.

Eunoia Review

He wonders how
his life would have changed
if he had slept
with that woman
who excused herself
to use the restroom,
her eyes so full
with hope and anticipation,
but when she returned,
choked with disappointment
because he had shifted
ever so slightly

Daryl Muranaka lives in Boston with his family. In his spare time, he enjoys aikido and taijiquan and exploring his children’s dual heritages. His first book, Hanami, was released by Aldrich Press in April 2015.

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Surprise: Hollywood is Still Whitewashing POC Characters

A very good read.

The Nerds of Color

Happy Asian American Pacific Islander Month!

Good news! The story of the Ni’ihau Incident is coming to the big screen. Bad news? Hollywood has learned nothing from the whitewashing outrage that has been in the zeitgeist for the last year.

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The Life of a Poet

Does anyone ever feel like you’re writing and you’re in a groove and you’re doing so awesome that you’re creating something like


but you’re really coming up with this?

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Power Rangers Brings Asian American Poverty Front and Center

I like this post. It does discuss some very important issues facing the Asian American community as well and the need for a greater, more nuanced representation of our diversity and a realistic presentation of our various challenges.

The Nerds of Color

By the time the Power Rangers craze first swept through in the early ’90s, I was just starting college, paying $290 a month in rent for a studio apartment in the Whittier neighborhood of South Minneapolis with a bed that pulled down from a wall, going to see Hong Kong flicks like Swordsman II and The Bride with White Hair Fridays at midnight, organized by Asia Media Access. I was still into nerd shit, but honestly the Power Rangers seemed, to me, corny and commercial. I thought it was funny that the Black Ranger was Black, the Yellow was a Vietnamese woman, and the Pink Ranger was a white woman.

My love of all things nerd grew in Phillips: Minnesota’s largest, poorest, and most racially diverse neighborhood, not all that far from my college apartment. As refugees from war with not a lot of money to spare, I learned to…

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Appreciation for the Big Things

“Don’t expect your children to love you, so they can, if they want to.”
–Ron Padgett

there is nothing like
my son’s kiss on the cheek
my daughter’s hug

the evening
and the morning
and the next day

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Sudden Spring

I walked through my bedroom and from the corner of my eye, I thought I saw disaster. My heart palpitated. My vision flickered. A fallen tree? Had the woodshed collapsed? Something was suddenly, shockingly different out in the yard.

forgotten forsythia
burst from the wetland
twin sunsets

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Working Dad

missed t-ball boy
being a “baseball sport”
lacking an sd card

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