“Cakewalk” by Jinko Gotoh

Gunsmoke, John Wayne, Lakers
Blasted out of Obachan’s TV.


I fixated over animated lady octopus, plopped up on rock
Middle of sea,
Puffy clouds
And seagull.
She depicted young woman of 1970.
Golden tan, loop earrings, long curly lashes, dark eye shadow,
Bright red lipstick.


She sprayed Soft ‘N Dri!
Repeated “it never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever stings!”
Why do octopus in America have arms
Not legs?


All so mighty foreign.


At end of summer
Carnival came.


Like waking-up Christmas morning
To find Santa’s present
Tree lit with lights


Ferris wheels
Clowns everywhere


Nickel ticket
Got me on platform
Some tune played
When it stopped
I had lucky number.


Pink bakery box in hand
Proudly walked home
White frosting
Shredded coconut
Yellow cake.


Not so bad in
Wild wild west.






Jinko Gotoh is an independent animation producer. Born in Japan, Ms. Gotoh was raised in California and attended Columbia University, where she earned a BS in Applied Math, as well as an MFA in Film.