White Whale Review: An Online Literary Magazine Untitled Document
Brandon Shimoda
Brandon Shimoda is the author of several books, mostly recently Evening Oracle (Letter Machine Editions; winner of the 2016 William Carlos Williams Award). "A Giant Asleep..." is from a book of the same name that he started eight years ago as a series of drawings and has yet to finish. He lives, meanwhile, in Taiwan.
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Brandon Shimoda





A young woman is eating yellow cake

In the dark, listening to the sound

Her stomach makes

She hasn't eaten in weeks. Her stomach is blue

Yellow cake is simple, she walks it home

Potatoes also, bush in her stomach

She would prefer to be hiding. People think she is hungry, that is all

They want to know. When can we touch your stomach?

The sound of a young child drinking from a fresco.



Brandon Shimoda


Then there emerged the dick of a goat at the table

Two women

Getting on

The sexual attraction between the living and ghosts

The dick of the goat

Emerged in the flesh

A substantiation of the mortal air

The living can be

Sexually attracted to ghosts

But ghosts cannot be sexually attracted to the living

They are a form of angel

Relieved of such attraction

On the verge of expiration

The women were old, aroused ghosts in their time

Formidable, intellectually arachnid

Neither had seen a dog mount a cat, for example

But people seemed largely susceptible

Windows, in seeming to be closed, were always open

The dick of the goat did not float, neither cruise

It emerged as though an aperture winked

For a moment, took on a monopoly

Where was the goat? By goat, the women meant

The form of an orgasm


Brandon Shimoda

One says is a goat

Really brain, there is no body

Not moldering in a field

People for whom such erosion's elation

Lobbying for something more fanciful

Until the attitude becomes that of stained glass

The dick of the goat's less repulsive than unforeseen luck

Still connected to earth, made it trip

Was it food? Not everything that moves

Can be


The inclination was to look the other way

But the hand has the mind of a leaf

Sun shining on veins, blood filling a tissue

Something albino, the women thought, their fingers almost touching

The dick of the goat returned

The women to a period

When they stood alone in small rooms

Imagining the corners of the rooms

As the corners of the earth

Evolution brought them to

The limits of satisfaction

They learned to bend themselves around


Brandon Shimoda

The mirages of the tomb—around the opening of the tomb

To another tomb, then a door

Into a yard, the yard no more sympathetic

Than wild and harboring

Animal babble


Without animals, ghosts attend to the living

As mistakes they made not made by

The living


Do not seek pleasure

The antithesis seeks pleasure

Detached from the body

The women preferred the image of a cat mounting a dog

The disproportions in size

Were more soothing

Doesn't matter

What the dog actually does, or the cat

The cat is responding to an opportunity

No mind can accommodate

Though it was the sound of breathing

Intimate as hairs in the ear, the walls of a tomb cadenced

Transparent, yet weak

Widowed them when it came through the window

Brandon Shimoda


There is a war, my daughter

Riding a beautiful animal


In the morning   round the mind

Will she marry the war? Either war

Or me

Has to go


Can't you be more specific? I'm sure you'll look good

In this country   spring country


Dancing all night

In peace


Next thing you know, they're claiming Mexico


I never heard anything as ignorant

As Eastern people speaking



About history



Brandon Shimoda

That the glory happened in the East!


You would think somebody spoiled a family



What is your name? Beautiful name ...

We don't make a fuss

Next time I tell you

Get everlasting death …



She was riding warwinds, hit her head on a stump

Things happen   people don't understand

I shot him   somebody had to

Do it   better   real bad   blow

Around this earth a thousand times

Deep umbrage   when you've seen it, you'll feel like

You'll see wonderful things

You'll care more

You'll have been part of it



I apologize. Every word was impolite

In principle   I was absolutely right


Brandon Shimoda

Who do you think you are? The world couldn't have been

More unpleasant


Let's spend every hour in the world

Take a trip, see all times

The way it is, it's been

In that respect   stranger



Children grow what they want

To turn everybody off

Each other's nerves

Habit sick, I mean merciful, beseeching

Each face   in sickness

Long as you both shall

Wilt together, beat spindle

In love, soften

The blow   children getting old

I wonder if we love them enough


To sacrifice a body on the battleship

And other warships   Japanese Pearl Harbor

Heavy electricity between human beings


Brandon Shimoda

Hereby notified to report on December a.m.

And progress keeping oil lord was good

Whooped a share of the credit

For other people's sickness

Until the rite will take

Holy flag   eliminating people   four-engine orchids

Emperor listening Wonderful tonight

Takes time, but listen

I didn't want to bully you into heaven



Tonight, as I turn the pages of my book

Gathering friends to the nation   hope to the news

Descendant shock   light ill with shame

Or plain penthouse power

Upon work and sweat


The bride wants a woman   jolly lord, minding babies

Going down anytime, go ahead

Kill spring, stray the herd

Breathless quarter



Brandon Shimoda

Like one of us, when a man has to be

A failure, turning under

The joint

Then it happened—


You want to know something?

Brandon Shimoda


An old man leaves his house

Touches the first tree he comes to

Repeats the movements (quickening) through space

The tree appears by torch to be half-eaten

A virgin flame stretched by the sun

Penis an ancient yolk, constellating

Nature as perforations

Through what little is remembered

Disappears—no memory, no knowledge clear

As colors on the wall. The old man's mouth

Rushes backwards through his face

Not the boundaries of laughter or the stifling of a laugh

Nor how many years already passed

In a moment of solitary inspiration (aggravated naturalization)

Everyone in the man's life is in the forest. Have they always been?

Young eyes condescending, the movements of old friends

Keeping watch?

Brandon Shimoda


for a moment

dressing dark

parts the moment



a white garden

where the furniture had been

cutting silhouettes

upon the windows

bier of burning

holes but   sun white

between excitation mushrooms

and alcohol syndromes

above a field, half girl in lake

half boy in space

what the brains must like

both giving together


in bronze

pussy seams on a dress

longer vanity

flag cordiality


Brandon Shimoda


there was seas weed

in the hinges   butter rubbed

into the visa


drained citizen




rind of thick liquid


in the stone amphitheatre

stuffed giants moving rapidly

toward the nest

half half

paper cranes   to keep the liquid ghosts

at bay   to give

liquid ghosts

a home

enfolded in

diminutive wombs

burnt to the wall


Brandon Shimoda


could strike   dementia could strike


through your back

to form human tuber   salted sperm

growing over

vermin   child chewing


cleaving climbing

vertiginous math of the sand


toward the sharpening beacon


a terminal spite

along the fallout


breast   two breasts

third breast is mechanical

cannot tell a man

breasts is not

pushing their intestines back


at the market   strapped

with marigold   magazines


Brandon Shimoda

crawling over

death's letter

through the slot of flesh

stretched over a rational




standing before one hundred




The experience repeats, beginning

I was one with the trance reactor

mouth, The experience repeats

I was one with the trance reactor



your arm flies over







Brandon Shimoda

was never meant

to write for keeping






Brandon Shimoda


I woke up screaming

Two nights, three nights

There was a black line on the stair

And a black line on the ceiling

The black line on the stair was diagonal

The black line on the ceiling was diagonal

Between one line and the other I was

An organism


I had been walking with my family in a foreign city

Everyone was wearing a dress. It was hot

The foreign city began to steam, to liquidize


The stair was made of sand

The ceiling was made of sand

The stair had no substance

The ceiling had no substance

The sand looked calm and inviting

You could stand on it, lift yourself up and down on your toes

But I could not lift myself up and down on my toes

I could not feel calm or invited



Brandon Shimoda

Everything was bound for the sand

The black line on the stair and the black line on the ceiling

Until the black lines combined

The black lines penetrated the sand

The black lines raced beyond the sand


Brandon Shimoda


We age one hundred years in a single blast

To fit into our dress, kiss what remains

Of flesh, only sun disgorged

Upon reflection, I wake up freezing

Every night I mistake you for your screaming



















Copyright © Brandon Shimoda. White Whale Review, issue 8.1

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