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Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Good Table


Parfait sample, Osaka: photo by pinguino, 2008

In the neighborhood of the ruling elites
a good

downstairs table having been miraculously scored,

he said, like one who has had
an unwonted stroke of luck,
"They took my plastic"

Pudding sample, Asakusa, Tokyo
: photo by OiMax, 18 November 2006

Fake food in a restaurant window in Japan
: photo by James Heilman, 9 February 2010

Neapolitan spaghetti of Japanese origin, Nakanobu, Tokyo: photo by OiMax, 21 June 2008


Anonymous said...

I like that this can be read and appreciated on a number of levels. It could also enhance the work of various types of publishers, ranging from humor magazines to art and/or literary journals to Life magazine (when there was a life magazine). It's excellent. As for the photos, they will be visiting me in dreams, I'm certain.

aditya said...

Very engaging indeed. The words 'synthetic starvation' form themselves in my mind as I read it over and over.

I read the poem first and without those pictures and the 'careful' follow-up captions it was pretty difficult to discern the mysteriously oblique direction the poem had taken.

TC said...

I put in the third photo only because a Test Subject, exposed to photos one, two and four, had not been able to tell whether the delicacies pictured were "real" or "fake".

The caption on the third photo gives away the game.

But that is a photo made and captioned by a "foreigner", and as such, enforces a blunt Western oversimplification, naturally.

The game is both real and fake.

Unnatural and au naturel, one might almost say.

"Synthetic starvation" indeed.

The little radio told me not long ago that a "study showed" that merely thinking about food "actually reduces appetite".

Robb said...

Really enjoyed this, too, Tom. I first say this kind of window dressing in the photos when I lived in Hawaii. Blew my mind a little then it just creeped me out.


TC said...

Eat enough plastic in a hula skirt, get a midasm.

I once was among a group of discontented employees, at a newspaper office high in the Western Ranges, who spent a good many hours setting fire to small Japanese plastic toys similar to those seen in the bottom photo. Now and then the bosses swaggered in for an attitude check. Vague fumes of torched polymers filled the guilty air.

(They gave us what one of my co-workers called "the fish-eye".)

Marie W said...

Oh my, look at that galore! After more than seven years in Japan, even I had never seen such a plate. That's a great one, Tom! There is a district of Tokyo called "kitchen town", Kappabashi, a very long street packed with shops selling exclusively food related things. Absolutely everything related to food and restaurants. That is where you will find all the plastic food you can ever imagine. And that is where restaurants buy their plastic food. It's a surreal place. This post of yours made me feel like strolling around Kappabashi again...