We're launching Secrets, our 22nd issue, on October 21, 2016. Leading up to the launch, we're publishing a series of poetry & prose pieces that feature unconventional lives and secret histories.
by Karla Comanda
Lolo Ben, you always told me
how, as a clean-cut boy of ten,
you watched GIs hide
in the streets of Santa Cruz
while the Japs bayoneted
babies and breasts and balls.
Was Tokyo Rose your number one
enemy, too? Your American pals
were orphans in the Pacific,
fighting with filial piety
and no instructions. What games
did you play with them as the vicious
assault on their morale hummed on
in your house? While your mother
fiddled the frequency to Glenn Miller
and Artie Shaw, you ran off
to buy cigarettes with her
Mickey Mouse money earned mending
military uniforms, and came home to soldierly
homesickness and sobs. How long did it take
for Tokyo Rose to become the little sunbeam
whose throat you’d like to cut?
Note: This poem borrows from Iva Toguri's The Zero Hour, an English-language radio show broadcast by Japan during World War II.
Karla Comanda is a poet and translator. Her journalistic and literary works have appeared in publications in Canada and the Philippines. She is currently the fiction editor for Ricepaper Magazine.
Amelia Garvin is a Vancouver-based multi-disciplinary artist working in writing, visual and sculptural mediums. Her work has been exhibited in various group shows in Vancouver and online. Her work captures her ideas of youth, the body and nostalgia. She holds a BFA from Emily Carr University currently working as a freelance illustrator and graphic designer. She's @ameliagarvin on Instagram and her website's here.