Otaku

As a young boy
I was eccentric,
Living in worlds
Of wishful thinking

Choosing cartoons
Over homework
Even though my grades
Stayed good.

My peers
Would often bully
What they judged
As far too different.

Some teachers
Found me obnoxious,
Quoting movies
None had seen.

I shared my head
With heroes
Sporting powers
Few could imagine,

Trading days
Most kids played baseball
For controllers
Guiding this hand.

They were not friends
To speak of,

Though those characters
Left their impressions

On that screen
Believed by dreamers,
Playing games
Whose quests felt real.

Soon pictures
Became words,
Yielding poetry
Through obsession
While I struggled
Finding acceptance
Even when my voice
Grew clear.

People always
Couldn’t tagree
How creative souls
Will wander,

Like small children
Reject guidance
Stifling passions
God makes true.

Instead,
I returned home
Reading books
Exploring freedoms,

Telling stories
Drawn by artists
Just as ostracized
As me –

Their exaggerated lines
And big eyes
Demanding feelings
From each arc
Such champion suffers
Learning goodness
Conquers all.

Perhaps power
Is contagious,
Forcing changes
Never noticed –

I was suddenly
Much more brazen
Like those anime
Had conveyed.

For a time,
I veered off-path,

Chasing girls
And wild wishes,

Despite fearing
Every moment
Without fantasy
Was unclear.

Now today,
I’m a married man,

A rare adult
Who can’t accept it,

Still in love
With what imbued me
With real meaning
Long ago

For I’d rather die
Than bend
Or give up
These toys and figures –

My favorite shows
Or consoles
Which distract me
From this lie.

“Otaku”
Is what they call us.

We’re not lauded,
But detested.

This just shows
Our chosen hobby
Proves reality
Seems absurd.

  • J. Pigno

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