Literary Orphans

“Hey there Haruki, sorry to interrupt your run” by Valerie Fox

I was an extra in that passage with Betty (Akiko) and the guy with the sheepish grin.  I was eating a hot dog in Doutor in Yotsuya JR station near where I was working. I had a sweet gig teaching English to salarymen. My boyfriend was a civil servant, something to do with tin cans and jazz-whispering. So we’ve basically already met, I mean in your book.


In this other book of yours I was a snake-dog in an old man’s pocket.  I don’t know how you knew where to find me to put me in that pocket but since it was before the Internet I am a little surprised you managed to find my shocked expression and quivering eyelids.


I took a panoramic picture of some giant crows and antenna and rooftops outside my balcony on my last day in Tokyo. A couple of years later I tried to paint a picture of this one specific crow. She was the one who’d been spotted arranging stones on the train tracks, on a whim, just to see what would happen. She told me all about it out on the balcony. She made it onto the nightly news. I remember jumping up and down, I kept shouting, I know that crow, I know that crow.


Hey, I’m really into vinyl, just like you, Haruki. Do you want to come over to my small apartment and spin a few discs? Shit, I can’t keep up. I’m glad this is New York City otherwise someone might call the cops and get me into some trouble, haha. I guess this looks a little strange. Everything I know about Beethoven I started to learn from you. Hey, wait, please, I’d sure like to pick your brain about your favorite recordings of Eureka, hey, that’s okay, yes, I am busy too. It’s hard to run away and talk at the same time.

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Valerie Fox’s most recent book is Insomniatic [poems] (PS Books). Other books include The Glass Book (Texture Press) and The Rorschach Factory (Straw Gate Books). She’s recently published stories or poems in Across the MarginPhiladelphia Stories, andCleaver.

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–Art by Piotr Kaczmarek

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