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written by: Genie Nakano



Running through wheat fields and skipping stones across the river are not my childhood memories.  My turf is a concrete city project playground filled with chain linked fences and swings.--where I fall in love with the boy next door and beat up the boy down the block. Boy crazy is what my mom called me.

I steal my mother’s Maxfactor red lipstick in the first grade.  When I’m ten—I’m fifteen and when I’m fifteen I’m twenty one. My imagination grows as big and wild as a jungle. A broomstick is my palomino pony and I can lasso Mars.

Urban living-- it’s not so bad. At night when all the smog settles-- the moon shines as bright as a silver bell.

coyote howling
to the moon
I am here

Genie Nakano

Genie Nakano

I was born in Boyle Heights, CA. known as the barrios of East L.A. I am a journalist for The Rafu Shimpo and have written three books of Haiku and Tanka. My latest is "Colorful Lives" a tanka and adult coloring book. Tanka, the elder elegant sister of haiku, is my favorite form of writing it keeps me succinct and musical at the same time. After all..tanka means "short Song".
I was a professional dancer and photographer for many years. Currently I teach Yoga and tanka at the Japanese Cultural Institute In Gardena, CA.
Genie Nakano

Latest posts by Genie Nakano (see all)

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