Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo is a documentary about the Japanese obsession with insects.
The movie bounces around between historic reasons for the obsession and the modern multi-million dollar business of buying and selling bugs.
I don't want anyone to think that I am making light of this cultural fact that looks odd to Americans. I think I understand it. These are things that are not inherently 'pretty' but are 'strong'. Bugs are at their core easy. They have a purpose, they enact that purpose. It is single-minded and by the book. They make sense.
I'm not going to try and analyze Japanese culture.
I have always wanted a cricket in a little cage. I think it traces back to Pinoccio and wanting my own Jiminy Cricket to sing to me about the ways of the world. And the idea of a small alien-looking thing that can make its own music or has a horn on its head or could kill with one sting is more then enough for me to want to get close to insects.
When clouds move over the sun
make patterns on hillsides like age
spots on my Grandmother’s arm I am filled
with a sense of calm
that could never come from anywhere else
It’s in the hollow of the bones it comes
from the belly a darkness that fills
and cools like sudden rain in July
or August the sound of crickets
on a hot night or sudden rising
lightening bugs from the thick grass
The Japanese call them crying insects
crickets and it fits they do hold
sadness in their harps
Lightning bugs are a floating void
nebula forming then breaking
they are alpha omega are silent shouts at dusk
There is the calm coming up the sun
is broken for a moment and the world is unamde
then put back together the cracks filled with glue
it is the stop start the engines are
turning over are blowing clouds of smoke