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  • mono 7:04 am on October 28, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: halloween, , japanese poetry, phlegm, , , , sinner, Tanka   

    A Ghoul (tanka #43), Passive (tanka #7) 

    Dreams covered in phlegm
    shivering night, eyes pried shut
    to keep out the ghouls
    that dance outside your window
    and scratch their eyes out back in

    However, you move
    position yourself again
    like a sinner on
    a ship of screaming shadows
    lost at sea drowning daily

  • mono 5:22 am on August 17, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , gothic, , , , , , sf, Tanka,   

    The Open Wound (2 Tankas) 

    Here are two more original poems in the style of the Japanese “tanka.”
    I dedicate these particular two works to the brilliance of poet/author Denis Johnson whose work I am devouring as carefully as I can.

    The Open Wound (in 2 parts)

    the gruesome portal
    hints of eyes and torn hair-strands
    stare black from the void
    of a time of a wasteland
    awake under fire-mist trees

    his eyes blown back in
    recovering slints and cracks
    confuse the landscape
    while forests provide entry
    from lost birds torn from their kin

  • mono 2:49 pm on May 20, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , doom, Energy, Energy and Environment, , , , , Tanka, ,   

    A Wind-Whipped Umbrella (2 Eyeslit Tankas) 

    Dripping shards of grass
    The obfuscated sun-slime
    of a bleak current
    Encircle toward the Vague
    If only to sink within

    The shivering self
    and a wind-whipped umbrella
    I stumbled at last
    Not so luminous under
    a silk quilt epiphany

    • Jeff Jefferson 11:43 pm on May 20, 2008 Permalink

      “Sun-slime” …!

      Such a cool notion; the sound of that word is great. Both of these tankas have great sound and rhythm to them.

    • jgrefe 6:53 am on May 21, 2008 Permalink

      Jeff Jefferson, thank you very much. Hopefully Michigan will be an inspiring place this summer to reflect and craft some new poetry. Hope to meet up with you again this year, your schedule permitting.

  • mono 12:00 pm on March 1, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: embrace, , , rice fields, Tanka, the cold,   

    The Cold (3 original tanka poems circa 2007) 

     The Cold: To Be Taken Together or Separately 

    Struggle until I
    Seemingly reach the darkness
    This, my immersion
    As the stalk blows in the field
    Cold wind embrace, gone

    Overcome by this
    Catastrophic renewal
    My mind blinking black
    An obscure conversation
    A multitude of voices

    Someone looks at me
    From across desolation
    I hear the train stop
    It is a pity that I
    May never see her again

  • mono 10:20 am on March 1, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Despondency, , , Mariko Mori, Melancholy, , , Tanka, , Zero   

    Selected Translated Poems from Mariko Mori’s book “Zero, Zero, Zero” 

    lonely cat

    I bought “Zero, Zero, Zero” on a trip to Osaka, Japan in the summer of 2001. I think that these translations, although amateur (i.e. unpublished), capture the sense that Mori wishes to express. Enjoy.

    Mariko Mori: Zero, Zero, Zero

    I look at the clouds as they suddenly tear away from each other.
    Somewhere, someone is calling my name.

    No matter what tomorrow’s weather will bring, realize that a person will die.

    Words that one can’t speak are pulled into the depths of one’s body as the thorn twists deeper.

    I mutter “zero, zero, zero” as the night sky’s illumination seeps into my sleep.

    My despondency comes from the tips of my toes, passing up my spine and lands at the nape of my neck.

    Melancholy is the back and forth of the swing, swinging until it reaches the darkness.

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