The Pay Phone (Glyph #24)

by Naoko Fujimoto


One of a kind original artwork, as featured in Naoko Fujimoto’s sensational collection, Glyph: Graphic Poetry=Trans. Sensory.

  • Found materials and ink on watercolor paper

1 in stock

‘“Trans.” has two meanings — Translate & Transport’

The original poem, “The Pay Phone”, was written after an interview with the daughter of a breast cancer patient when I was composing my poetry chapbook, “Home, No Home”. In the chapbook, I interviewed and researched survivors of health risks, natural disasters, and broken moments to identify the meaning of “home”.

As readers can see, “The Pay Phone – Graphic Poem” is very difficult to read. Words and sentences are intentionally upside-down and drowning into the similar background color. The cut-out letters are almost like a life-threatening letter. All my graphic poems are filled with personal moments. The cut-outs are origami-paper that was donated from a family of cancer survivors in Japan.

One patient called her daughter every evening from a hospice’s pay phone and said, “I want to live. Talk to you tomorrow.” I could not ignore the image of a patient standing by a pay phone every day to share how much she wanted to live and spend the future with her loved ones. However, the patient’s voice did not go through easily after her many treatments, mirroring her family and friends’ fatigue over time.

—Naoko Fujimoto

Naoko Fujimoto
Naoko Fujimoto

Naoko Fujimoto was born and raised in Nagoya, Japan. She studied at Nanzan Junior College and received BA and Master’s degrees from Indiana University. Her poetry collections include Where I Was Born (Willow Books 2019), and three chapbooks: Mother Said, I Want Your Pain (Backbone Press 2018), Silver Seasons of Heartache (Glass Lyre Press 2017), and Home, No Home (Educe Press 2016).

Additional information

Weight 0.5 lbs
Dimensions 12 × 18 in