Moon Tanka for Eliza’s Birthday

And you with the moon
Make this strange world stranger still
Changing shape and shade
With incarnations
For the curious to share

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Depth Charge: Eliza Griffiths will be exhibiting new works at ELLEPHANT, 1201 rue St-Dominique, Montréal, Qc H2X 2W3 Canada, 5/11/2016 – 17/12/2016. Vernissage: November 5, 2016, 16:00 – 20:00. Image:Detail of painting by Eliza Griffiths.

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Finally at 5 o’clock: A Response to Li Qingzhao’s “New Lotus Leaves”

Finally at 5 o’clock
In a lightly drifting snow
Alone in the woods
The world poised to fall into
Another dark night

Sometimes forgetting
Becomes a powerful form
Of self-protection
Not simple dark denial
But freeing white erasure

More ephemeral
Than gravitational waves
Your absence lifts me
Knowing the snow doesn’t fall
Rather we rise up through it

As on the day I was born
The dragon raised its horned head
From the frozen seas
Though I couldn’t see it then
Through my newly opened eyes

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新荷叶李清照
薄露初零,长宵共、永昼分停。绕水楼台,高耸万丈蓬瀛。芝兰为寿,相辉映、簪笏盈庭。花柔玉净,捧觞别有娉婷。
鹤瘦松青,精神与、秋月争明。德行文章,素驰日下声名。东山高蹈,虽卿相、不足为荣。安石须起,要苏天下苍生。

Xīn hé yè Lǐ Qīngzhào
báolùchū líng, zhǎng xiāo gòng, yǒng zhòu fēn tíng. Rào shuǐ lóutái, gāosǒng wànzhàng péng yíng. Zhīlán wèi shòu, xiāng huīyìng, zān hù yíng tíng. Huā róu yù jìng, pěng shāng bié yǒu pīng tíng.
Hè shòu sōngqīng, jīngshén yǔ, qiūyuè zhēng míng. Déxíng wénzhāng, sù chí rì xià shēngmíng. Dōngshān gāo dǎo, suī qīng xiāng, bùzú wéi róng. Ān shí xū qǐ, yào sū tiānxià cāngshēng.

New/lotus/leaf/Li Qingzhao
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…”
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…”

Our Moon Blood

An eclipse compressed
A month of lunar phases
Into mere minutes
Yet—this warping was not rushed
Rather—our love slow making

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Depth Charge: The last time there was a blood moon, it was cloudy, so I had to stream it online. Not so last night, the supermoon eclipse was clearly visible from my back balcony.

Fading, but not fast: A Response to Li Qingzhao’s “Rouged Lips”

At the bottom of the stairs, I stop, turn
To see you standing up there , naked still,
A light screen of perspiration clinging
To our now separate skins, no longer
Twinned, though Castor and Pollux still ride high
As I step into the fresh, sterile air
Of late March with its night breezes yet free
From spring blooms with their desperate perfumes—
Efflorescence, procreation, decay,
Our own coupling productive of nothing
Beyond a shared luxury of pleasure,
A moment and a memory fading,
But not fast, if I close my eyes I can
Feel lines traced thirty years ago by hand.

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For Top07

‘Tune: “Rouged Lips”
Naivete
by Li Qingzhao

Stepping down from the swing,
Languidly she smooths her soft slender hands,
Her flimsy dress wet with light perspiration—
A slim flower trembling with heavy dew.

Spying a stranger, she walks hastily away in shyness:
Her feet in bare socks,
Her gold hairpin fallen.
Then she stops to lean against a gate,
And looking back,
Makes as if sniffing a green plum

The two of us now so far apart–
In Heaven and on Earth?

Translated by Jiaosheng Wang.

点绛唇·李清照
蹴罢秋千,起来慵整纤纤手。露浓花瘦,薄汗轻衣透。
见客入来,袜刬金钗溜。和羞走,倚门回首,却把青梅嗅。

Diǎn jiàng chún·Lǐ Qīngzhào
Cù bà qiūqiān, qǐlái yōng zhěng xiān xiān shǒu. Lù nóng huā shòu, báo hàn qīng yī tòu.
Jiàn kè rù lái, wà chǎn jīn chāi liū. Hé xiū zǒu, yǐ mén huíshǒu, què bǎ qīngméi xiù.

Depth Charge: This poem is in the appendix reserved for poems which, although often attributed to Li Qingzaho, have contested authorship. Certainly, the theme and imagery of this poem seem to be more in keeping with ci poetry written by men in which they fantasize they are women fantasizing about men and, thereby, ascribe their own fantasies about women to the woman herself.

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…

Hard Bargain : A Response to Li Qingzhao’s “The Lone Wild Goose”

The stars and I have struck a hard bargain,
Harder than Hector’s beautiful thick cock,
More enduring than Franco’s erection,
Bitter sweet still than any load of cum,
Impossible to break, unlike our loves,
Which we all know, or will know, easily
End, well or not, but all the same just end,
And in this bargain the dead stars become,
My living flesh, seeing eyes, consciousness,
And in return I promise to look up
In amazement through love with gratitude
That I can be briefly born on this earth
From the flower of their heavenly deaths
And with such beautiful men mingle breath.

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for MasterFranco and toscano111

Tune: “The Lone Wild Goose”
Plum Blossoms
by Li Qingzhao
Prefatory Note. People tend to be vulgar as soon as they start writing a ci-poem about the plum. Of this I was unauare till I had made an attempt myself.

Paper bed-curtains,
A couch of rattan.
No pleasant thoughts ease a troubled mind
When my morning sleep ends. Sandalwood incense burning fitfully,
The jade censer fallen cold–
Companion to my feelings thin as water. A flute playing “Falling Plum Blossms” three times over
Startles the plum-trees into sudden bloom,
And the air is filled with all the sweetness of spring.

Fine rain, gusty wind:
Lugubrious sounds once more urge
A thousand lines of tears.
Gone is the flute-player,
Deserted the jade tower
Nobody now shares with one broken-hearted.
I pluck a spray of bloom,
But who can I send it to,
The two of us now so far apart–
In Heaven and on Earth?

Translated by Jiaosheng Wang.

孤雁儿·李清照
(世人作梅词,下笔便俗。予试作一篇,乃知前言不妄耳。)

藤床纸帐朝眠起,说不尽无佳思。沈香断续玉炉寒,伴我情怀如水。笛声三弄,梅心惊破,多少春情意。
小风疏雨萧萧地,又催下千行泪。吹箫人去玉楼空,肠断与谁同倚。一枝折得,人间天上,没个人堪寄。

Gūyàn er  · Lǐ Qīngzhào
(shìrén zuò méi cí, xiàbǐ biàn sú. Yǔ shì zuò yī piān, nǎi zhī qiányán bù wàng ěr.)

Téng chuáng zhǐ zhàng cháo mián qǐ , shuō bu jìn wú jiā sī . Chénxiāng duàn xù yù lú hán , bàn wǒ qínghuái rúshuǐ. Dí shēng sān nòng , méi xīn jīng pò , duōshǎo chūn qíngyì .
Xiǎo fēng shū yǔ xiāoxiāo de , yòu cuī xià qiān xíng lèi. Chuī xiāo rén qù yùlóu kōng , chángduàn yǔ shuí tóng yǐ . Yī zhīzhé dé, rénjiān tiānshàng, méi gèrén kān jì .

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…”

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Dark Matter

Something moves out there
Unseen—its darkness binding
Us all together—
Whole galaxies in its grip
What is this spiderless web?

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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…”

These Mere Hearts of Stone

A scientific man ought to have no wishes, no affections, – a mere heart of stone.
Charles Darwin

Not for a minute
Should you think mere hearts of stone
Do not feel as much
As less durable beings
Whose stay in this world is brief

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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…”

Fermion Hearts Boson Beds

Our fermion hearts
Bound through endless boson beds
Ceaselessly waving
In opposite directions
Across promiscuous glue

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Depth Charge: Fermions are elementary particles that cannot share the same quantum state. Bosons are unlimited in the number that can share the same quantum state and, furthermore, they carry the force that holds matter together. This is my first attempt at poetry inspired by The Quantum Moment, Robert B. Crease and Alfred Scharff Goldhaber.

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…”

Never Better Nothing More: A Response to Li Qingzhao’s “Remembering the Maid of Qin”

Dark dust of a billion stars
Lifting spiralling shifting
Settles into our being’s
Random DNA pairings
Love hunger but mostly fear
Ravelling unravelling
Evolution’s coiled ribbons
Lifting spiralling shifting
Black crows in the falling snow
Return at sunset noisy
With the day’s news in their beaks
Never better nothing more
The winter wind complicates
The urge of the snow to fall
Fifty years of memory
Lifting spiralling shifting
But always failing falling
Always settling into drifts
Of identical cold days
Sunset silences the crows
As—somewhere—a star explodes

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Tune: “Remembering the Maid of Qin”
The Wutong  Tree
by Li Qingzhao

Jumbled mountains, rolling plains:
The view from this high tower
Blurred in thin gleaming mist,
Thin gleaming mist.
Across the sunset sky
Flash crows coming home to roost;
At fall of dusk
Calls a distant bugle.

Fading incense, remnants of wine:
A heart full of remorse.
Parasol-leaves falling,
Parasol leaves falling.
Urged by the west wind.
Haunting me always,
Autumn’s somber colors.
Never leaves me alone,
The pain of loneliness.

Translated by Jiaosheng Wang.

忆秦娥·桐·李清照
临高阁,乱山平野烟光薄。烟光薄,栖鸦归后,暮天闻角。
断香残酒情怀恶,西风催衬梧桐落。梧桐落,又还秋色,又还寂寞。

Yì qín é ·tóng·Lǐ Qīngzhào
Lín gāogé, luàn shān píngyě yān guāng báo . Yān guāng báo, qī yā guī hòu , mù tiān wén jiǎo .
Duàn xiāng cán jiǔ qínghuái è , xīfēng cuī chèn wútóng luò . Wútóng luò, yòu hái qiūsè , yòu hái jìmò.

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…”