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  • Writer's pictureTokyo Poetry Journal

Poetry Collaborations: TPJ Editor Taylor Mignon et al.

Ukiyo-e print by Ryusai Shegeharu. (1830)

The majority of poetry is written in solitary contemplation, or as our friend William Wordsworth would say “Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility.” However, poets are playful social beings too and some of the greatest works of literature have been born out of co-writing or collaboration in various forms.

ToPoJo loves teaming up with musicians and artists of all kinds for every volume and event. We highly value collaboration, our journal is a testament to that. ToPoJo editor Taylor Mignon has co-written several poems with fellow ToPoJo editors and poets from the Tokyo poetry scene in the last few years. Here are six poems selected by Mignon himself.


Let’s Play Kafka

By Ray Craig & T Mignon

let's play Kafka

you go first

Misuto sauna de seki shite, chichai chinpira ni cho shikareru

aruite sanpun - suika taberu

places to receive futari no kaewa

Gion de kikoeru giongo wa goshi goshi dake ja ne zō

let's read between the tear

5 fit and flare chigitte taberu

Danchi ni andakaba (undercover)—no darake, no Visa

niatteru ne, sono chotto matte

wait, let’s hurry

dakara dattara

Kafka to omoikiri asobu

Noted that watakushi ga memo mada moratteinai, mo~, minna jiro jiro miruna! 👀

kankei nai kara sa

passengers complain, robins flock

zettai machigaetteru

Super sento no tansanburo (carbonated water bath) de shoujo to chichi pretend to eat food

about, as could

robins fade

passengers complain

Kafka ni aete ureshikute shikata ga nai

cho chinpira ga Kafka o sagashita kedo meiro ni maiyotta

datte sa, about is part

2 voices one page furi furi

You out yr left fish in....Eto eto desu ne hoki poki shake shake

blossoms complicate

ikinari togireru

puddles or Russian novels o kabatte

twisted, 3 miles

waiting for bus

reading Frank O’Hara

Flummoxed by lexical loquaciousness & lady hiney highness, back to English

mizugi ni ashi ga tsuite masune

ugoki nagara hayashi no naka

Tomimatsu, tattoo for Kafu

peg-top and blackbirds

Kotoba no avalanche ni natte, Kafka ha nagare no naka ni shindeiru

"Postcard from Kafka" by Ray Craig


buttered young, battered Jung & the yolo orgy

By Todd Silverstein & T Mignon

*listen with soundscape by David Severn

raw and rhyme’s rough fisticuffs, タン タン bomb

#power poof Tantan man babe buff nuf famalam i am

philtrums lapped, spent, splayed by tongue’s scrum

#then scrummage at garage sale of rubbage, ma’homage

but am who to emulate?

Ingrate unconcentrate baggage-agonista

#grape concentrate, fashion agonista, dudette, don’t die

on dat diet

too thin skinned to sin boyo—nape ape it, nyet

#yet slurping margarita, collective unconsciousness on

holiday forgets

better bet be better,

buttered young, battered Jung, air-iest ba-booms

#out primordial sludge, 31 offers a

cookie dough & fudge spoon

are hunger, our boil, テスラコイル, lightning's

#lam from the loom

fruit of the loom our doom a foil for whom

undoom the room, unwhom baboon, babble to boil

#Band Name Ideas have a hullabaloo over how to spell


brand new to-do, pettigrew's crew,

triumphant, resplendent

#Izod Polo J-Crew Hollister Ab. & Fitch Am. Eagle unravel

@ logo orgy

cast off, wax on, come Mammon, Kink Kong, rise up!

cranekick armageddon!

#Chrome’s Helios Creed howls “Armageddon” & sneers

“I’m a gentleman”

then, whimpering, allows, "less shallow than bear"

#slap on that bass line! Fishman’s psych solo!

tap on that YOLO, riff as thunder, loose singularly


#snappin hat emoji, sniffs asunder, caboose scrumptious

synch carpet

thwart-circuits madcap heart’s Sensoji, thumps profuse,

bumptious ’n pink

#yo Cap, ain’t got no Beef w/ yr Heart, peace bump

head butt


The collaboration poems below have been published in Tokyo Poetry Journal Volume 11: Tokyo City / Slice

O Glorious Galore!

by Matthew Zuckerman & T Mignon

Buck rolls & bucks flow, dragon digests, splurge of words regurge

It ate cream cheese with crushed strawberries, rustic pompadour swelling and opening

Deux delishier palette pleasure round two, dragster goatee, embedded r3

Wide eyed into the eyes of time and down down down

Thust hence, Freddie King gave birth to this ditty, wit-ness

Hide away and stumble on to San Ho Zay

No way! Yazohnas is like macarolli hosanna

To all the believers on the parsnip of glory

O glorious galore of a fast Las Vegas rolling die


David Severn, Morgan Fisher and Taylor Mignon. (2018)

Madam Kicker, for Masahiko S.

By David Severn & T Mignon

Hoochie coochie cinnabom, g n t no lime, table splinter in palm

Indigo n khaki reggaement blows an air on a g string

Red tubby n calico super duper pinch bassist rips show

eno n byrne-ing bush of ghosts up on deck loop loop

US is waiting & Boredoms lay down in Shimokita coin locker

Down the tracks, a station’s lights shine from ancient time

Down the flask & town’s neon turns to drizzle curve moments

Rain’s bow and arrows drozzle on while folk homego

Home slice left shag right duff gruffly among labyrinthian curbs

Achi kochi, m c escher-calators scuttle down to bedrock

April 19, 2019


Collapsing Chuhai

By Zoria Petkoska K. & T. Mignon

Train-strained to a speck, breathe in........ breathe out.......

Coughing fit fast forward to fist fight, ah, masks off


Gloves on. A spitting image of a broken mirror

Dukes down — each sputum a universe— chuhai kampai

achoo-hai, kanpai ippai, cheers to the cheerful, and then - silence

.................................................................................yes (small type)

......... No, silence not found. SILENCE is sold in slices here, a rare commodity, a foie gras of force-feeding me loneliness

Step up & git yr fresh slices of silences @ sidewalk sale, prices slashed

Not sold in vending machines - they're too LOUD

They vent via Vipassana, scream to whisper

blistered escalators conspire with elevators

The gaslighting of public transpo thru loopy cameo

Zoria and Taylor performing "Collapsing Chudai" at Topojo Volume 10 Launch, Yoyogi Park, July 2021. Photo by Simon Scott



Taylor Mignon and Jordan Smith

S/he it them us we ourselves benched the press for a thousand word pounds

The Mensch and the Benshi

Empty head deaded with

Bench-warmer nepenthe

Hachiko and Benji anthromorph pickin sanshin & banjo @ 9th inning stretch

Hamstrings tingling, ham-fisted rib-tickling

Loyal to a fault-line

With soil and plotline

Grew blue suede shoes

And a Fedora for the aura

Mr. Beau Shpongle, trance trance this ellipsis dingle dangle does dance

But doesn't do || pants ||

Not so into }{ clothing }{

=Raving= & =roving=

& cyber-punktuation

Himalayan monks kissing hunksss of defffflation

Thai fisherpeeps in Yoga pants do handplants {!} Sponsor Words::: Uniqlo w/Yayoi & Yokoo on the go....go ala Tones on Tail Go! Gap ゲップ {!} Zara: respectful, elegant cheapshit apparel....yay {!}

Underneath chic sheaths:: Zen-sheen Dots Mode = 全身脱毛de

bald ≠ spectacle, my hairless little delectable

Retractable-fact Writing Hood

Wolf ear headphones

Sinking in fangs

Blissing _]out[_ to the dead TONES

Never baloney nay say ever salami yay sushi ma’ omey ma’ dude irreveriblingblongitude exude a White Russian flush up, this humpty empty dumpty a nitty gritty dingalong singalong semi-dirty ditty

Truly gritty

Unruly itsy-bitsiness

Tiddly-winking titties

Slipping doubloons into gold tipsiness


Okay, now EXIT POLITICS ...

In out in out, coitus interruptus, revolutate responsibly anarchate yr ass & yr blinding 3rd "I" will be bound to see see, you statue girl, wicker boy, the other others you & me flee yr mind @ land mine field free

Refills, recaps: Buddhist moonshine

Sex in an election year

Sex with an erection clearly

Wrecked in the electric chair:

Redirected to greener pastures,

It was downright awkward:

Offered the black handshake

Then Slaughtered by the imposters



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