I’ll be just another ghost

I'll be just another ghost

Very very soon
I’ll be just another ghost
A figment of your
Imagination only
No longer of mine as well

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Depth charge: A warrior name Fuse Yajiro wrote the following 辞世, jisei,death poem:

Before long
I shall be a ghost
but just now
how they bite my flesh!
the winds of autumn

(from Japanese Death Poems by Yoel Hoffman)

This got me thinking about what it really means to be a ghost.

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…”

Watching the human word storm

Watching the human word storm_20130727_211705

No one knows how long
You lay on the floor after
The silencing stroke
Storm of human words—voiceless
You have no way of saying

While I am talking
A jet black crow flies across
Mackerel-clouded skies
Muted scenes through a window
Something plays across your face

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Depth Charge: While listening to part three of Jean Aitchison’s 1996 Reith Lecture, The Language Web, I misheard her when she said “the human word store” and thought she said “the human word storm.” This mishearing caused me to think about my aunt who had lost both the power of speech and the power to communicate through the written word after her stroke. The other theft in this poem comes from watching a performance of Hanafuda Denki-The Dance of Death. In it there is a line about a “mackerel sky” and I instantly saw in my mind the type of striped cloud formation to which it referred, so I stole it. As a side note, the picture that accompanies this post, which I took on the north shore of Prince Edward Island in 2013, is not what I would call a mackerel sky, but it is amazingly beautiful.

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…”

Facebook Photo

Chris Cockrill and Colin McKay 1984 Montreal Bud's protest

Chris Cockrill and Colin McKay 1984 Montreal protest against the raid of Bud’s Bar. Photo Courtesy of Jose Arroyo.

We float like eyes stitched to the sky,
Looking for each other
In all the wrong places.
from You Are Gone, Brother by Zubair Ahmed

A photo posted
From some thirty years ago
This was our beauty—
All smiles and a cigarette
At the corner of your mouth

Permanently pinned in place
Now—only ashes remain
And their phoenix memories
Flicker—just as quickly fade

As for sweet Colin
Proudly riding on your back
In protest of police
Brutality—his wide smile
Invited time’s cruel kisses

Only those who lived through war
Lost as many young men as
Did we in those years of love—
Fear—heroic caresses

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(for Chris Cockrill  and Colin McKay)

Depth Charge: This is a chimeric beast of a poem—half-tanka, half-quatrain.

I had previously written about the role Facebook, and social networking in general, is assuming in the creation of collective and social memory. The posting of this picture of a protest against a police raid of Bud’s bar in Montreal in 1984 is another example of memory synapses activated by shared digital information. Thanks, Jose Arroyo, for this.

Nothing could have prepared us for what was to follow in the years after this photo was taken, the onset of the AIDS epidemic that would rage completely unchecked for more than a decade, and while treatment now offers a degree of security for some, HIV continues to claim lives and loves to this day. For a glimpse at the tenor of those times, watch How to Survive a Plague.

To see all the tanka on this blog, click here.
To all non-tanka writing 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…”

Illumination


Illumination
Is nothing—if not human
As our consciousness
Echoes—in others— dimly
Dimly—repeats—nevermore

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Depth Charge: We need a material awakening, not a spiritual awakening. We need to face up the responsibilities of our material being, a material being that includes our minds, our memories, all of our consciousness, a material being that cannot exist apart from the rest of the material universe.

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…”

As close as the clouds

Blooming-Point-PEI_20130730

As close as the clouds
As far from me now as you
Lying together
I’ve lost the means to measure
Distance—closeness—you and me

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(for Cutty)

If you are in Montreal on Saturday,  Aug 17, 2013, come and say hello at:

MONTREAL QUEER BOOKFAIR
August 17, 2013 12pm – 6pm
Comité Social Centre-Sud
1710 Beaudry Beaudry Subway Station
Wheelchair Accessible

To read all the Tanka, and writing about Tanka, please click here.

To read all the implicitly and explicitly homoerotic content on this blog, please 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…”

Another dawning

Montreal Sunrise with Jupiter IMG_20130807_045922[1]

Another dawning
Trees silhouetted—swaying
Sky striped gray and blue
Jupiter alone shining
You?—were only in my dreams

AGG20130
(for Cutty)

If you are in Montreal on Saturday,  Aug 17, 2013, come and say hello at:

MONTREAL QUEER BOOKFAIR
August 17, 2013 12pm – 6pm
Comité Social Centre-Sud
1710 Beaudry Beaudry Subway Station
Wheelchair Accessible

To read all the Tanka, and writing about Tanka, please click here.

To read all the implicitly and explicitly homoerotic content on this blog, please 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…”

I see your number

Modern Angels IMG_20130503_095210[1]

I see your number
Your face pops up on my cell
Before answering
I smell the fragrance of you
Feel the smooth curve of your skin

AGG2013806
(for Cutty)

If you are in Montreal on Saturday,  Aug 17, 2013, come and say hello at:

MONTREAL QUEER BOOKFAIR
August 17, 2013 12pm – 6pm
Comité Social Centre-Sud
1710 Beaudry Beaudry Subway Station
Wheelchair Accessible

To read all the Tanka, and writing about Tanka, please click here.

To read all the implicitly and explicitly homoerotic content on this blog, please 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…”

Monkey No Aware #21 — Hopelessly Hopeful, Awkwardly Optimistic

lacrimae rerum by Andrew Grimes Griffin

Perhaps the proof positive that humans are hardwired to be insanely optimistic is the way in which we always greet the news of someone’s death as if it were something unexpected. She could have been 95 years old and riddled with cancer, but when we hear she has died, it comes as a surprise, like “Really? Oh, I thought maybe SHE would be the one to live forever.“

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