Wednesday, April 2, 2014

PAD Day 2: A Japanese Demon

Starting today, I will attempt what I did the last two years of NaPoWriMo and combine the prompts from Poetic Asides and the NaPoWriMo blog, hosted by Maureen Thorson. (Note to Maureen: Sorry if I appeared to "steal" the title of yesterday's blog from yours - I really did come up with it independently before visiting your blog.) Today's dual prompts: (1) Write a "voyage" poem, and (2) write a poem based on non-Greco/Roman mythology, such as the Norse or Japanese. I took Maureen's suggestion and clicked a link to a list of Japanese spirits and demons, and the subject of this poem is the first one that jumped out at me. (Yes, it's rather unsettling when a Japanese demon jumps out at you.) "Akaname" is a spirit who comes and licks your bathroom at night. I understand Japanese children were told about him to scare them into keeping their bathrooms clean.


I slide up through your gummy drain,
and my poison spit dissolves the scum
the soap left on your tiles. Then
I creep to the toilet, my red tongue
flicking in the bowl, scouring anything
you’ve left behind. Even the sink
won’t escape my hunger for grime.
I slither through your towns after midnight,
making my way from bathroom to bathroom,
invading the ones that aren’t spotless.
This is my mission, my nocturnal voyage.
So forget your Comet, your Scrubbing Bubbles -
leave the job to me. Just don’t get up
in the middle of the night,
because you might not like what you see
when you turn on the bathroom light.

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