“I glanced at my grandmother talking to me. I saw my history and could hear Japanese, but I inhaled America and the doctors tricked into thinking English was my native language ”
Praise Bull City. Praise any boy who so becomes his hometown in the most gorgeous of ways. George “G” Yamazawa Jr. is a writer of horns and stampeding velocity. He doesn’t try to tame the animal, rather, he perfects it. G is also a city within himself. He is a writer negotiating neighborhoods in the Carolinas and in Japan as if they we’re just ‘round the corner from each other, and who is to tell him that they are not? G makes oceans, time, generational differences and bridges travel great flights on the wings of his language at amazingly sonic speeds. He writes of culture in ways that would make Audre Lorde weep for how honestly and royally he honors all parts of himself and his family. When G, Individual World Poetry Slam Finalist, speaks of the traditions his family has passed down, the weight of the word ‘junior’ on a young person who is the first step in the dream of their parents hopeful, heavy songs it is in such a uniquely southern way that I shutter. It is a new standard he writes , a remixed tradition demanding us to recognize how long it has been here (centuries) and how new it is (now!). And it will floor you with that demand, with its voice. G, like many more writers today, found his way to the page through the microphone. I don’t want to debate spoken word & page poetry differences here because I never want to debate the difference between poetry and itself, but I do want to say this: when you come to G’s poetry, sing it. Give it back to the air and watch it dance the walls of your mouth. Let him live in the wind around you and you will not be short of amazed, Oh, and did I mention that homie is the ill MC? Yeah… about that. Sometimes God says ‘let there be talents’ and folks get a little greedy in line. G Yamazawa was a glutton that day and I am so thankful for it.