Daryl Muranaka



Politics and Other Distractions


wildflowers in the yard

waiting to be mowed


in the forest

no tree grows

too fast or too high


the earth moves

on the floor

the baby sleeps


black mulch

thrown on new snow

as if that helps


in the dark

the roosters crow at threats,

real and imagined





Daryl Muranaka lives in Boston with his family. In his spare time, he enjoys aikido and taijiquan and exploring his children’s dual heritages. His first book, Hanami, was released by Aldrich Press in April 2015.



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Daryl Muranaka


First Things First: The Telegrams

Let’s be clear—stop
All must be concrete—stop
green house emergency each 3rd Tuesday—stop
Prometheus and Kiki keep tobacco on a leash—stop
Seven pies must be 100% free
‘n accessible during a beautiful day—stop
comparative pets by permit only—stop
It’s time to ride—stop




Daryl Muranaka lives in Boston with his family. In his spare time, he enjoys aikido and taijiquan and exploring his children’s dual heritages. His first book, Hanami , was released by Aldrich Press in April 2015.

Source: This is based upon signs on a walk from the North Campus of Harvard University ending at the Porter Square T stop (I had to get back to work and took the T back).

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Daryl Muranaka

Looking For Ghost Towns

1. Morning in Colville National Forest


Jon sleeps like a dead man

in the bed of the truck.

My fingers hurt in the cold.

The fog rolls in around the bend.

The sun, a pale dot

behind gray clouds.


Off the road, the ground is soft,
and a creek runs down the slope.

The sound of it rushes under

the street, a foot wide

and an inch and a half deep–

­I think to wash my face in it.


The fog touches the stump

of a pine that’s been cut

smooth like a table

and hauled away.

A bluejay has begun squawking.


There’s patience to be had

watching the fog roll in around

the trees; in how the cars pass

them by the side of the road.


Snow plow, you come down

the mountain like a violent rain.

I kick the truck to get Jon up

so we can get back on the road again.



2. Bodie


We drove all morning

before we reached the valley–

­long and narrow–pointing north.

The clouds let up

when we crossed Sherman Pass.

The sun felt good

through the window.

A few houses separated

by pastures were stitched

together with fences.


We passed the town once

and turned around. We drove

all morning to find those four gray

houses behind rusted barbed wire,

lodged into waist high grass.


We found beer bottles

thrown out back,

the boards sagged and

creaked under our feet,

paper and plaster

cluttered the floor.

The windows of Bodie

were shattered–the culprits

lay at the back of the room.


A German Shepherd

had come here to die–

­either shot by someone

or hit by a car. His empty skin

lay in a bedroom. Jon

looked at me before saying,

“Bodie’s the name of my dog.”


3. Grand Coulee


Outside of Omak there’s a sign:

Hitchhiking Permitted–

­Limited Distance.


Laughing, we wondered

what was the distance.

There never was another sign.


Two hours later,

across the Reservation,

we reached the tall curtain of air

that separated the brown

from the green lawns, the brown

from the white curbs.


We spat out the window,

spat on the dam, ate

cheese sandwiches and threw

the crusts to the birds.



Daryl Muranaka was born in Los Angeles, California and split his childhood between there and Hawaii.  He lived in Spokane, Washington where he earned an MFA from Eastern Washington University.  From there, he traveled west to Japan then east to Boston, Massachusetts where he lives with his wife and daughter.

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