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


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.


My poems are little demons

My poems are little demons

Invading my skull
My poems are little demons
Hungry for my thoughts
And they must be exorcised
Often—they just die—famished


Banging out another one

Counting syllables
Banging out another poem
My fingers thrumming
Across the invisible
Broken one-note piano


Depth charge: a couple of tankas about the monomaniacal nature of the writing process.


Meanwhile stars die silently

Blessed Virgin Mary giving fascist salute 2

What’s this attraction
Childish impossible gods
Exert over us?
Meanwhile stars die silently
Their passing left unremarked


Depth Charge: I consider this poem to be a descendant of The long-dead stars though nameless and part of a continuing reverie on Oscar Wilde’s assertion that humans will believe the impossible before the improbable. As for the creepy photo accompanying this poem, it stands in front of the Carmelite Convent here in Montreal. The gates are usually locked, but every once and awhile we are permitted a peep.

To see all the tanka on this blog, click here.

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

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…”

“There’s no such thing as a three-year-old caterpillar.”

caterpillar on garbage can Mount Royal

“There’s no such thing as a three-year-old caterpillar.”

There it is, on a scrap of paper that I find as I do a clean-up of my desk.

“There’s no such thing as a three-year-old caterpillar.”

Where did these words come from? They are written in my barely legible handwriting, but did they come from my mind, or did I jot them down while listening to, watching or reading something else. But what?

I do a Google search, but this particular string of words does not, come up. An article about bird cherry Ermine moth caterpillars, or web worms, transforming a cemetery in Essex, England does, however, come up. So I read that and watch the accompanying video. I am impressed, but no closer to the origins of “There’s no such thing as a three-year-old caterpillar.”

Its source obscure, I concentrate on what it might mean. It occurs to me that a caterpillar that does not change into a butterfly is just a worm. So, if after 3 three years of believing you are a caterpillar you still don’t have wings, face up to the fact that you are just a worm and be the best possible worm you can be.

Then again, perhaps the person who wrote “There’s no such thing as a three-year-old caterpillar,” and there is a slim chance that person is me, did not mean it to say that at all.

If you want to read all the non-tanka writing on this blog, click here.

A Final Deprived Space

When the sun finally collapses
In upon itself, becoming
The tomb of all our hopes,
Baby, I’d like to say I’ll still love you
But that would just be fucking retarded.

No, it really is now or never,
Our revolving hot embrace
Spiraling elegant through space
For five billion more years —
Give or take.


Depth Charge: To His Coy Mistress by Andrew Marvell

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…”

Waiting to Hear the Thunder

We’re waiting to hear the thunder
From impossibly distant stars

Ships set adrift on spatial seas
Our round horizon receding

Always 13-odd billion years
No matter which way we would look

Hot summer night on the north shore
We see the lightning flash so bright

Out over the threatening gulf
And we start counting in the dark


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…”

Juxtapositions: Mumbling Anderson

Mumbling Anderson Laurie  Anderson vs John Mackenzie

As I mentioned when I road tested John Mackenzie’s new album of poetry, I had one more experiment to perform with it. The idea came about while listening to the album, and especially whenever he said the word “days,” I couldn’t help but think of one my favorite artists of all-time Laurie Anderson.

Now, this is odd, as it would be hard to find two artists more diametrically opposed in style or content. On the other hand, both artists are consummate storytellers and deeply concerned with language.  So, given that juxtaposition is at the heart of combinatorial creativity, I decided to put Laurie Anderson’s first album—Big Science, her latest album—Homeland, and John Mackenzie’s Mumbling Jack onto the MP3 player together, select shuffle and hit play.

I was very pleased with what fate tossed up in its wake. The juxtapositions included the humorous –going from John Mackenzie’s “Hey!Hey! I wanna tell ya somethin’” into the wolf howls at the beginning of Anderson’s “Big Science”– to the smooth – transitioning from John Mackenzie’s “the slow, wistful glance/of my mind’s eye over poems/and songs of youth leaves/their glazes cracked, unfit for/wine women wisdom whiskey song” into Anderson’s  “Maybe if I fall/Maybe if I fall asleep/There’ll be a party there”  from “Falling” on the Homeland album – and  on to the magical – Anderson’s “Thinking of You”  leading into Mackenzie’s “Out of the Corners of My Eyes.”

The sombre, melancholic tone of much of Anderson’s music resonates very nicely with Mackenzie’s voice.

Hearing the work mixed together like this allowed for common themes to become clear as well, both are concerned with the passage of time and the hidden patterns in everyday life. Also, unlike her earlier work, Anderson’s later work is more reliant on nature metaphors of the type favoured by Mackenzie.

Overall, it was a very successful experiment.  Try it out for yourself. Take Mumbling Jack by John Mackenzie, put it on an MPS player with your favourite musician/poet, hit shuffle and see what pops up.


Depth Charge: Here is Laurie Anderson being interviewed about her latest performance Piece,Dirtday, and her work in general.