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October 18, 2019 / barton smock

person Robert Okaji, four poems


Robert Okaji is a displaced Texan seeking work in Indianapolis. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Panoply, Slippery Elm, Indianapolis Review, Vox Populi and elsewhere.


Self-Portrait with Nine

Nine rivers, nine mountains, nine skies.
The root of the Egyptian word also shapes sunrise and the new moon.
Of fire, of attainment and totality, of truth.

In my ninth year we moved to the Mojave.
After two hands-breadths, the new.
The nine spheres, beyond which nothing lives.

Consider the negative aspect: pain, sadness, suffering. Distress.
Ku does not symbolize near-perfection in Japan.
Nor do I resemble the triad squared.

In the horoscope, the house of worship, of wisdom and books.
A sign of perfection, a final limit.
A number multiplied by nine produces a figure that totals to nine.

The body’s doorways, the twists of the River Styx.
That which contains no stars.
From the custom of expressing…

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