Two Poems: I will be more myself in the next world

Matsuki Masutani’s debut book of poetry is a minimalist bounty of gentle insight and quiet humour: I will be more myself in the next world (Mother Tongue Publishing) reflects on aging, marriage, family, dreams, the poet’s Japanese roots, self-acceptance, and effects of immigration. Below, we share two poems from the collection.


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From I will be more myself in the next world 

I am
more than
my body
more than
what I think.
I am
more than
what I do
what I did
and what I will do.
I am
more than
what I am
in this world
and I feel
I will be
more myself
in the next

 At a party
a man asked me gently,
“Did I meet you
on the garden tour?”
I responded firmly
“No, that was Yoshi.
I’m Matsuki.”
I am one of two
Japanese men on the island.
I have long hair and Yoshi’s is short.
He wears glasses and I don’t.
Still, many people
mix us up.
When people ask me,
“Do you make miso?”
(which Yoshi does)
I say,

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Matsuki Masutani is a poet and translator living on Denman Island. He moved from Tokyo to Vancouver in 1976. Ten years later he moved to Denman Island, where he eventually began writing poems in English and Japanese. He has translated Canadian works such as Roy Kiyooka’s Mothertalk, Hiromi Goto’s Chorus of Mushrooms, and from Japanese into English, Kishizo Kimura’s memoir, Witness to Loss, published by McGill-Queen’s University Press in 2017. His poems have appeared in Geist magazine, Capilano Review and in the anthology Love of the Salish Sea Islands.

* * *

Thanks to Mona at Mother Tongue Publishing for sharing two poems from I will be more myself in the next world with us. For more poetry samplings, click here.