The Dark Arts

I drank the blood of a dead dog
To erase all memory of you
I vomited out my own heart
Into a stranger’s empty chest

These are the dark arts I employed
To murder off my love for you
I needn’t have bothered with them
The only thing wanting was time

AGG20151105

Depth Charge: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/nov/04/what-if-i-never-get-over-him-her-google-answer?CMP=fb_gu

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…”

Advertisements

As for what remains: A Response to “Spring at Wuling” by Li Qingzhao

As for what remains—
An expanding universe
Doesn’t count for much—
It’s vastness still can’t contain
Our happiness grief and pain

AGG20141218

Tune: “Spring at Wu Ling” ①
by Li Qingzhao

The wind has subsided,
Faded all the flowers:
In the muddy earth
A lingering fragrance of petals.
Dusk falls. I’m in no mood to comb my hair.
Things remain, but all is lost.
Now he’s no more.
Tears choke my words.

I hear “Twin Brooks'” is still sweet②
With the breath of spring.
How I’d, too, love to go for a row,
On a light skiff.
I only fear at “Twin Brooks” my grasshopper of a boat
Wouldn’t be able to bear
Such a load of grief.

① Written in 1135, six years after her husband’s death, when Li Qingzhao was living at Jinhua in today’s Zhejiang Province as a temporary refuge from the Jin invasion.
②A stream in the southeast of Jinhua often visited by poets in Tang and Song times as a scenic resort.

Translated by Jiaosheng Wang.

武陵春·李清照
风住尘香花已尽,日晚倦梳头。物是人非事事休,欲语泪先流。
闻说双溪春尚好,也拟泛轻舟。只恐双溪舴艋舟,载不动许多愁。

Wǔlíng chūn·Lǐ Qīngzhào
Fēng zhù chén xiānghuā yǐ jìn, rì wǎn juàn shūtóu. Wù shì rén fēi shì shì xiū, yù yǔ lèi xiān liú.
Wén shuō shuāng xī chūn shànghǎo, yě nǐ fàn qīngzhōu. Zhǐ kǒng shuāng xī zé měng zhōu, zài bù dòng xǔduō chóu

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…”

Response to yet another of Li Qingzhao’s “Sand of Silk-Washing Brook”

The wine glass has stood empty
For more than twenty-five years.
Now, I’m intoxicated

By rain-stained lilacs x      —fading
On the evening breeze x  —tender
Beings who vanish like smoke.

AGG20140525

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

Fill no more this cup of amber,
A feeling of intoxication comes over me
Before I am deep drunk.
Evening wind blows,
Echoing the intermittent chimes of bells .

The borneols have gone out, my dream is interrupted.
My tresses fall loose,
The gold-bird hairpin is so small. ⑴
I wake up and brood idly
Over the glowing candle flame.

⑴  An allusion to a bird which spit gold presented as tribute by Yunnan to the King of Wei in the Period of the Three Kingdoms (220-265).

Translated by Jiaosheng Wang.

李清照浣溪沙
莫许杯深琥珀浓,未成沉醉意先融。疏钟已应晚来风。
瑞脑香消魂梦断,辟寒金小髻鬟松。醒时空对烛花红。

李清照浣溪沙
莫許杯深琥珀濃,未成沉醉意先融。疏鐘已應晚來風。
瑞腦香消魂夢斷,闢寒金小髻鬟松。醒時空對燭花紅。

Lǐqīngzhào huànxīshā
Mò xǔ bēi shēn hǔpò nóng , wèichéng chénzuì yì xiān róng . Shū zhōng yǐ yīng wǎn lái fēng.
Ruì nǎo xiāng xiāohún mèng duàn , pì hán jīn xiǎo jì huán sōng . Xǐng shíkōng duì zhú huāhóng .

Li Qingzhao Wash/stream/sand
Do not/allow/cup/deep/amber/dark, not/succeed/become/intoxicated/thoughts/early/harmony. Distant/bell/already/respond/evening/arrive wind.
Auspicious/essence/fragrant/melts away/spirit/dream/breaks, dispel/cold/gold/little/topknot/tied-up hair/loosen, awakening/time/idle/towards/candle/flower/red.

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…”

Response to yet another of Li Qingzhao’s “Butterflies Lingering Over Flowers”

Each kiss a Song of Farewell
Sung a thousand times over.

My mind and body so deranged
By our final parting,
I’d almost forgotten
About the brown sweater
You wore on the day
Of our first meeting

And that

The globe is round,
And we are half-a-world apart,
So a single step
By either of us
In any direction
Would bring both of us
Closer together.

AGG20140430
Written to commemorate my parting from MKL and leaving China, July 10, 2008.

 

·蝶恋花·晚止昌乐馆寄姊妹
泪湿罗衣脂粉满,四叠阳关,唱到千千遍。人道山长山又断,萧萧微雨闻孤馆。
惜别伤离方寸乱,忘了临行,酒盏深和浅。好把音书凭过雁,东莱不似蓬莱远。

·蝶戀花·晚止昌樂館寄姊妹
淚濕羅衣脂粉滿,四疊陽關,唱到千千遍。人道山長山又斷,蕭蕭微雨聞孤館。
惜別傷離方寸亂,忘了臨行,酒盞深和淺。好把音書憑過雁,東萊不似蓬萊遠。

Qīngzhào·Dié liàn huā·wǎn zhǐ chāng lè guǎn jì zǐmèi
Lèi shī luō yī zhīfěn mǎn, sì dié yáng guān, chàng dào qiān qiān biàn. Réndào shān cháng shān yòu duàn, xiāoxiāo wēi yǔ wén gū guǎn.
Xībié shāng lí fāngcùn luàn, wàngle lín xíng, jiǔ zhǎn shēn hé qiǎn. Hǎo bǎ yīn shū píngguò yàn, dōng lái bù shì pénglái yuǎn.

Butterfly/to long for/flower. Evening/stop/Changle/hostel/send to/sisters
Tears/wet/gather/robe/make-up/inundate, four/repetition/Yangguan Pass, Sing/until/one-thousand/one-thousand/times. Person/path/mountain/long/mountain/also/cuts off, Dreary/dreary/fine/rain/scents/hostel.
Pity/parting/injures/leaving/heart-mind/disordered, Forget/modal particle signifying completion/moment of departure, wine/glass/deep/and/shallow, good to/the/news/letter/rely on/passing/geese, Donglai/not/as/Penglai/far.

Tune: ” B u t t e r f l i e s Lingering Over Flowers” 1
A Farewell Letter to My S i s t e r s. Written at an Inn i n Chang Luo.
by Li Qingzhao

Tears stain my silk robe with rouge and powder
As the Song of Farewell is repeated
Thousands of times over.
I ‘m told the going’s hard
Over these endless ranges of mountains
That block the view.
In my lonely lodge I listen all night
To the patter of sizzling rain.

Regrets at parting drive my mind to distraction:
I forget how full I filled your cups
As I bade you adieu.
Be sure to send word
When the wild geese pass.
After all Dong Lai is not so far off as Peng Lai. 2

1)      Written when the poet was en route to Dong Lai, i.e. Laizhou in present-day Shandong Province, where her husband had just taken a new official post. She must then be around 38 years of age.

2)      According to legend, Peng Lai was an island in the Eastern Sea, where the Immortals dwelled.

Translated by Jiaosheng Wang.

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…”

Response to another of Li Qingzhao’s “Butterflies Lingering Over Flowers”

Endless night of worrying,
A dream of you,
On the shore standing,
At the ocean waves looking,
And you’re not even breathing.

I hold out my hand offering
This year’s first blooms,
Fragrant bright beings,
You just say: “Even the spring
Cannot revive everything.”

AGG20140428

Tune: ” Butterflies Lingering Over Flowers” by Li Qingzhao
Giving a Party to My Relatives on the Third Day of the Third Lunar month: A Dream
by Li Qingzhao

Low spirits, a long dreary night.
Idly I dreamed I was on my way back
To our beloved old capital—
The familiar road a blaze of
Beautiful flowers in the moonlight
As home I went with news of
This year’s glorious spring.

A few home-cooked dishes at the party,
But just to our taste:
The plums sour, the wine delicious.
In my cups how I ‘ d have loved to deck my h a i r
With a spray of bloom,
But for fear the flowers would chaff me.
But soon, oh how soon!
I woke to the stark reality :
We were both of us aging,
The Spring and I.

The dedication refers to the ancient Chinese custom of holding parties of friends or families at the river’s edge on the third day of the third lunar month to ward off evils . It dates as far back as the Jin Dynasty, when Wang Xizhi, China’s greatest calligraphist , wrote an essay in his imperishable calligraphic style celebrating one such event.

The reference placing flowers in her hair is an allusion to Ouyang Xiu’s essay “The Customs of Loyang,” which records that in spring the women of Loyang used to take delight in decorating their hair with flowers.

Translated by Jiaosheng Wang.

·蝶恋花
上巳召亲族
永夜恹恹欢意少,空梦长安,认取长安道。为报今年春色好,花光月影宜相照。
随意杯盘虽草草,酒美梅酸,恰称人怀抱。醉莫插花花莫笑,可怜春似人将老。

·蝶戀花
上巳召親族
永夜懨懨歡意少,空夢長安,認取長安道。為報今年春色好,花光月影宜相照。
隨意杯盤雖草草,酒美梅酸,恰稱人懷抱。醉莫插花花莫笑,可憐春似人將老。

Qīngzhào Dié liàn huā
Shàngsì zhào qīnzú
Yǒng yè yān yān huan yì shǎo , kōng mèng cháng’ān , rèn qǔ cháng’ān dào . Wèi bào jīnnián chūnsè hǎo, huā guāng yuèyǐng yi xiāng zhào.
Suíyì bēi pán suī cǎocǎo, jiǔ měi méi suān, qià chēng rén huáibào . Zuì mò chāhuā huā mò xiào, kělián chūn shì rén jiāng lǎo.

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…”

Response to Li Qingzhao’s “Butterflies Lingering Over Flowers”

Warm rains and clear winds
Have broken winter’s hold,
The primordial flourish of magnolia
Pulses within its bud,
Feel it beating—
The blood-hungry heart of spring.

And who is there to share with me
The fluid poetry of flesh and life?

The darkening skies light up
A kaleidoscope of screens,
This other city of men
Who live a shared dream
Of sex with strangers
In the dead of night.

Wherever, whenever
Bloom the ancient flowers bright.

AGG20140425

Tune: “Butterflies Lingering Over Flowers”
Separation
by Li Qingzhao

Sunny breezes, warm drizzle
Take the chill off the air
As the thaw sets in.
Willow sprouts like a girl’s eyes,
Plum blossoms rosy-cheeked:
Already one feels the heart of spring stirring .
Oh the delights of wine and poetry–
Who will now share them with me?
The gold-petalled hair-piece feels heavy,
And tears melt my rouge.

I try on my lined dress sewn with gold thread,
Recline idly on a pile of pillows,
Crushing my phoenix hairpin.
No pleasant dream comes to one
Alone in deep sorrow.
At dead of night I sit up,
Trimming the tell-tale wick
Of my bedside lamp.*

*The wick of the candle burnt into a flowery shape was thought to be a good omen, here presumably of the lover’s return.

Translated by Jiaosheng Wang.

·蝶恋花
暖雨晴风初破冻,柳眼梅腮,已觉春心动。酒意诗情谁与共?泪融残粉花钿重。
乍试夹衫金缕缝,山枕斜欹,枕损钗头凤。独抱浓愁无好梦,夜阑犹剪灯花弄。

Qīngzhào Dié liàn huā
Nuǎn yǔ qíng fēng chū pò dòng, liǔ yǎn méi sāi, yǐ jué chūn xīndòng.Jiǔyì shī qíng shuí yǔgòng? Lèi róng cán fěn huā diàn zhòng. Zhà shì jiā shān jīn lǚ fèng, shān zhěn xié qī, zhěn sǔn chāi tóu fèng. Dú bào nóng chóu wú hǎo mèng, yèlán yóu jiǎn dēnghuā nòng.

Butterfly/to long for/flower
Warm/rain/clear/wind/begin/to break/freeze, willow/eye/plum/cheek, already/feel/spring/heart/move. Wine/thought/poetry/feeling/who/with/share? Tears/melt/ruin/rouge/flower/inlay/heavy.
Suddenly/try/to close together /garment/gold/threw/stitch, mountainous/pillow/recline/lean on, pillow/damage/hairpin/head/phoenix. Alone/embrace/concentrated/worry/without/good/dream/late at night/still/cut with scissors/lamp/flower/to toy with.

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…”

Response to Li Qingzhao’s “Sand of Silk-Washing Brook”

Too lazy to trim my beard,
The moon contends with thin clouds—
Spring winds rake the dark alley.

A chaos of unread books
Spills across unmade bed sheets—
Cold words without your warm voice.

AGG20140424

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

Languidly I leave my tresses uncombed,
Regretting that spring will soon be over.
Plum blossoms in the courtyard
Begin to fall in the evening breeze,
And moonbeams grow sparse
As light clouds drift to and fro.

The jade duck-censer idle
With the incense unlit.
Drooping tassels of many-colored feathers
All but conceal the small cherry-tinted bed-curtain.
My rhinoceros hairpin—
Is it still proof against the cold?

Translated by Jiaosheng Wang.

·浣溪沙
髻子伤春懒更梳,晚风庭院落梅初。淡云来往月疏疏。
玉鸭熏炉闲瑞脑,朱樱斗帐掩流苏。遗犀还解辟寒无。

·浣溪沙
髻子傷春懒更梳,晚風庭院落梅初。淡雲來往月疏疏。
玉鴨熏爐閒瑞腦,朱櫻斗帳掩流蘇。遺犀還解闢寒無。

Qīngzhào​ Huàn xī shā
Jì zi shāng chūn lǎn gèng shū , wǎn fēng tíngyuàn luò méi chū. Dàn yún láiwǎng yuè shū shū.
Yù yā xūn lú xián ruì nǎo , zhūyīngdòu zhàng yǎn liúsū . Yí xī hái jiě pì hán wú.

Wash/stream/sand
Hair tied-up in a topknot/Noun suffix/distressed/spring/lazy/even more/to comb, evening/breeze/court/yard/fall/plum blossoms/begin. Insipid/cloud/come/go/moon/sparse.
Jade/duck/fume/incense-burner/rests/auspicious/essence, vermillion/cherry/screen/cover-up/tassels. Bequeathed/Rhinoceros horn/still/solve/dispel/cold/not.

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…”

Response to Li Qingzhao’s “Partridge Sky”

In the still bare, black branches,
A lone finch ceaselessly flits.
Another spring finds new room,
For the old sorrows to bloom.

Coffee cold, wordlessly,
I don my daily armour.
There’s no sense in delaying,
The front door sighs as it shuts.

AGG20140422

Depth Charge: The authorship of the original poem to which this is a response is disputed, often being attributed to Qin Guan. Regardless, I will treat it as one of Li Qingzhao’s.

Tune: “Partridge Sky”
by Li Qingzhao

The migrant oriole on the bough-
Tears fill my eyes
As I hear its sweet trills,
Fresh tear stains mingling with old.
A whole spring—and no word from you;
A thousand li beyond the mountain pass—
I search for you in my dreams.

Wordless, facing the cup,
I resign myself to heart-rending sorrow till dusk.
No waiting for the lamp oil to run out.
I shut the door tight
As rain pelts the pear blossoms.

Translated by Jiaosheng Wang.

·鹧鸪天
枝上流莺和泪闻,新啼痕间旧啼痕。一春鱼鸟无消息,千里关山劳梦魂。
无一语,对芳樽。安排肠断到黄昏。甫能炙得灯儿了,雨打梨花深闭门。

·鷓鴣天
枝上流鶯和淚聞,新啼痕間舊啼痕。一春魚鳥無消息,千里關山勞夢魂。
無一語,對芳樽。安排腸斷到黃昏。甫能炙得燈兒了,雨打梨花深閉門。

Qīngzhào Zhè gū tiān
Zhī shàng liú yīng hé lèi wén, xīn tí hén jiān jiù tí hén. Yī chūn yú niǎo wú xiāoxi, qiān lǐguan shān láo mèng hún.
Wú yī yǔ, duì fāng zūn. Ānpái chángduàn dào huánghūn. Funéng zhì de dēng’er liǎo, yǔ dǎ lí huā shēn bì mén

Partridge/sky
Branch/on/flow/oriole/together with/tears/hear, new/cry/traces/space between/old/cry/traces. One/spring/fish/bird/without/news, One thousand/li/pass/mountain/to labor/dream/spirit.
Without/speech/facing/fragrant/wine-vessel. To arrange/sorrow/until/dusk. Just now/burn/lamp/finished, rain/hits/pear/flower/dark/close/door.

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 don’t give a fuck about you, lilac

I don’t give a fuck about you, lilac;
I care only for how you make me feel.
If I describe your delicate petals,
Purple, intoxicating bursts of scent,
Surrounded by clusters of heart-shaped leaves,
Returning eternal every spring,
It is really all about my sadness,
So don’t go getting all high on yourself.

AGG20140413

“It is often noted that the Irish poet was not so much concerned with the actual description of nature as with his own emotional response to its endlessly varied phenomena…” Prionsias MacCana, from Early and Middle Irish Literature (c. 600 – c. 1600), p. 2, The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing

To read the Catalog of New Emotions, click here.

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…”