As we lay down in the blood of strangers

As we lay down in the blood of strangers, 
Our tired bones made from the dust of stars, 
It would be so easy to just give in 
To despair, refuse to rise up again. 
 
Weary of television’s nightly dose 
Of horror and fear and murder, we want 
To hide away in some safe hole until 
It passes like a nightmare on parade. 
 
But this life is not a dream, it is real, 
As real as bullets, as bombs, as sirens, 
And we need to wake up, open our eyes, 
To dry our tears with the ashes of the dead. 
 
Our fears are as useless as our prayers, which 
Imagined god would we offer them to? 
The god of the killers and of the killed 
Is one and the same and his name is shit. 
 
This fictitious god who breeds hate too real 
For me and the all men I’ve ever loved 
Fades to nothing before the power felt 
As I lay down in a stranger’s warm arms. 
 
AGG20151116 
 
Depth Charge: The title of this poem is a slight modification of a line from an essay written by Isobel Bowdery, a survivor of the terrorist attacks in Paris, Nov 13, 2015.

guoande seal script jpegTo read Songs about Sex, Death & Cicadas by Andrew Grimes Griffin, just click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the link and select “Save link as…”
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Monkey No Aware #29— God and Racism

lacrimae rerum by Andrew Grimes Griffin“Racism is real in the same way God is real. They are both constructs invented to torture, enslave and dehumanize our fellow humans.  They persist because they are useful to those in power, those who wish to maintain—or increase—their power over others, those who need fictitious differences to mask real inequalities, inequities that they benefit from.”
– AGG20141016

 

To see all the Monkey No Aware posts, click on the Monkey No Aware tag below.

While We Waited for His Love: A Response to Li Qingzhao’s “Rouged Lips”

One-thousand strands of worry
X    Wrapping a single,
X         Absent man,
X              A single kiss
X                   In a midnight garden,
During my lifetime we’ve killed
Half the wild animals on the planet
X    —but rescued so many, many
X          puppies and kittens—
All of this happened
While I gazed out windows
Waiting for him to arrive,
X    The ice caps melted
X         And the forests burned
While I cruised online
For sex with strangers,
X    The oceans acidified
X         And the fish
X              Went the way of the dodo,
All of this happened.
While I waited for love.

AGG20141008

Tune: “Rouged Lips”
Loneliness
by Li Qingzhao

Fine rain urges the falling petals,
And soon spring will be fled
Love it as I may.
A twinge in my aching heart,
And I am overwhelmed by a thousand sad thoughts,
Secluded in my lonely chamber.

Impossible to get out of this mood of depression,
Moving from one end of the balustrade to the other.
Where is he, the one dear to my heart?
The road by which he may return I cannot glimpse,
Withered grass stretching to the farthest skies.

Translated by Jiaosheng Wang.

Here is all the ci/词 and responses to it on this blog.

点绛唇李清照
寂寞深闺,柔肠一寸愁千缕。惜春春去,几点催花雨。
倚遍阑干,只是无情绪。人何处,连天衰草,望断归来路。

點絳唇李清照
寂寞深閨,柔腸一寸愁千縷。惜春春去,幾點催花雨。
倚遍闌干,只是無情緒。人何處,連天衰草,望斷歸來路。

Diǎn jiàng chún lǐqīngzhào
jìmò shēnguī, róucháng yīcùn chóu qiān lǚ. Xīchūn chūn qù, jǐ diǎn cuī huā yǔ.
Yǐ biàn lángān, zhǐshì wú qíngxù. Rén hé chù, liántiān shuāi cǎo, wàng duàn guīlái lù.

To read Songs about Sex, Death & Cicadas by Andrew Grimes Griffin, just click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the link and select “Save link as…”

To read  as close as the clouds by Andrew Grimes Griffin, just click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the linke and select “Save link as…”

To read the chapbook Happy Birthday Hanafuda by Andrew Grimes Griffin just click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the link and select “Save link as…”

AIDS is the Age of Christ

(A sonnet to the God of Plague)

Now AIDS is the age of Christ
When he was scourged, crucified;
It has been thirty-three years
Since our skins first bloomed bruises—

Passion purpled—pain blossomed,
We began to die too young,
No chance of resurrection,
In our modern fairytales,

And if now we have some pills,
And it doesn’t kill—so quickly,
There remains the terrible
Memory of that reaping,

We see shadows hint at spaces
Where entire lives could have been.

AGG20140602

Depth Charge: 1981 is generally considered to mark the beginning of the onslaught of AIDS in North America because that is the year cases first appeared in the gay communities of New York and San Francisco, although we now know that the virus was present much earlier. There has been an upsurge in interest in this period with the documentaries How to Survive a Plague and We Were Here, and the film The Dallas Buyers Club, and the made-for-tv movie The Normal Heart all being released in the past couple of years. Criticism has been leveled at some of these works that they leave out important parts of the story, but I think that is because that period in history and the issues are so painful and complex that any single effort to encapsulate them will fail. It is best to take them all to together, if you can bear to. It is especially harrowing watching these works because we are still living with this virus in our midst 33 years later. As for the title, 33 years is popularly held to be the age at which Jesus Christ was crucified.

To read Songs about Sex, Death & Cicadas by Andrew Grimes Griffin, just click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the link and select “Save link as…”

To read  as close as the clouds by Andrew Grimes Griffin, just click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the linke and select “Save link as…”

To read the chapbook Happy Birthday Hanafuda by Andrew Grimes Griffin just click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the link and select “Save link as…”

A Response to a Fourth Li Qingzhao “Sand of Silk-Washing Brook”

Windows open all day long,
Birdsong laced with lilac scent,
Free to follow my own thoughts,
Sudden thunder—speeds the dark.

The rain drums out sharp warnings,
Car tires whisper and hiss,
Lightning extends bright fingers,
Distant sirens—approaching.

AGG20140526

Depth Charge: The gentle melancholy over the passing of all things in the original is replaced by a much more ominous foreboding in the response poem. Perhaps that is why a Biblical reference crept in, if it is paranoia you are looking for, you can’t beat the Abrahamic religions and killjoys like Isaiah and Paul.

Tune: “Sand of Silk-Washing Brook”
Late Spring
by Li Qingzhao

A small courtyard, an idle window:
The mellow tints of spring.
Double blinds unfurled:
A room deep in shadow.
Upstairs, silently,
Someone plucking a jade zither.

Clouds emerging from far-off peaks
Hasten the fall of dusk.
A soft breeze blowing rain
Dallies with light shade
Pear blossoms already past their bloom—
I’m afraid one can’t keep them from fading.

Translated by Jiaosheng Wang.

李清照·浣溪沙
小院闲窗春色深,重帘未卷影沉沉。倚楼无语理瑶琴。
远岫出云催薄暮,细风吹雨弄轻阴。梨花欲谢恐难禁。

李清照·浣溪沙
小院閒窗春色深,重簾未卷影沉沉。倚樓無語理瑤琴。
遠岫出雲催薄暮,細風吹雨弄輕陰。梨花欲謝恐難禁。

Lǐqīngzhào · huànxīshā·
Xiǎo yuàn xián chuāng chūnsè shēn, zhòng lián wèi juǎn yǐng chénchén. Yǐ lóu wúyǔ lǐ yáo qín.
Yuǎn xiù chū yún cuī bómù, xì fēng chuī yǔ nòng qīng yīn. Líhuā yù xiè kǒng nán jìn.

Li Qingzhao Wash/stream/sand
Small/courtyard/to stay idle/window/spring/colour/dark, double/curtains/not/rolled-up/shadow/submerge/submerge. Lean on/building/without/words/to handle/jade/zither. Distant/mountain peak/

Here is all the ci/词 and responses to it on this blog.

To read Songs about Sex, Death & Cicadas by Andrew Grimes Griffin, just click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the link and select “Save link as…”

To read  as close as the clouds by Andrew Grimes Griffin, just click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the linke and select “Save link as…”

To read the chapbook Happy Birthday Hanafuda by Andrew Grimes Griffin just click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the link and select “Save link as…”

I’ve wrestled angels

Study for Jacob Wrestling the Angel 1876  Léon Joseph-Florentine Bonnat Detail

Study for Jacob Wrestling the Angel 1876 Léon Joseph-Florentine Bonnat Detail

I’ve wrestled angels
X    My entire adult life
X    So I’ve seen many
Beautiful hard cocks but not
A single feather—not one
X    Angels like me seem
X    To be the earthbound fallen
Dust of long-dead stars

AGG20140129

Depth Charge: Another experiment in Mirrored Tanka (5-7-5-7-7-5-7-5). This poem was sparked after reading Le Combat avec l’ange/The Combat with the Angel by Jacques Prévert.

A new chapbook, as close as the clouds by Andrew Grimes Griffin, is available for free reading online and/or download.

Why two men fucking

A Reason to Rise_20140113

For the life of me
x    It’s incomprehensible
x        Why two men fucking
x             Is seen as something shameful
x             Not viewed like the rising sun
x        Natural and bright
x   A sight to heat our red blood
A reason to rise

AGG20140114

Depth Charge: Over the past several months, various nations around the globe have been harshly criminalizing homosexuality: India’s top court re-criminalized it after it had been legalized; Uganda (Subsequently, Uganda’s president refused to pass the law, but remains homophobic.) and Nigeria in Africa passed draconian anti-gay laws, and Russia’s insane anti-gay propaganda law continues to send a message that it is open season on gays and lesbians in that country.  In all cases, conservative religious forces – Christian, Muslim, Hindu and/or Sikh – both within and outside of the countries concerned are major supporters of anti-gay legislation.

For those who are into the writing process, this is another experiment in Mirrored Tanka (5-7-5-7-7-5-7-5) and references section 28 of Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself where he describes, amongst other things, masturbating.

A new chapbook, as close as the clouds by Andrew Grimes Griffin, is available for free reading online and/or download.

A Haiku for Prognosticators

Photo by Mario Rendon

Photo by Mario Rendon

Behind the rain clouds
They say the full moon is bright—
We’ve heard that before

AGG20131119

Depth Charge: A haiku for all preachers, priests, prophets, seers, soothsayers, fortune tellers, market analysts, politicians, business reporters, stockbrokers, oncologists and anyone else who is trying to tell you that it will all work out for the best.

 

To read Songs about Sex, Death & Cicadas by Andrew Grimes Griffin, just click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the link and select “Save link as…”