Swimming Nude in Summer Rain

It comes slanting dark
Across the north shore—warm—wet
Forcing a quick choice
Flee—or strip naked and swim
As the rain shivers the waves

Each drop raised a shining spout
Sparkling bright in the sunlight
From the thin blue band
At the still clear horizon
Of soft pulsing sea

The beach has been cleared
The families and couples
Decided to flee
Leaving me alone in this
Expanse of dancing silver

A gull and a cormorant
The only others witness
To shifting rhythms
Of rain shadow and light—but
They’ve seen it before

In half an hour
The rain has moved to the east
The sun reappears
The beach slowly fills again—
For them just another day

AGG20140805

Depth Charge: An absolutely amazing day at Blooming Point beach yesterday gave rise to this chain of  Reversing Tankas, a variation of Mirrored Tanka.

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…”

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Awakening to a storm

The backup beeping
Of the snow plough—the constant
Rustling of the wind
The cry of a gull—muffled
Storm sounds through my closed window

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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…”

It will take some time

It will take some time
Rains have already begun
To melt this winter’s
Deep snow and the stained grey ice
Clinging ragged to her life

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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…”

I don’t blame winter

I don’t blame winter
So many invectives hurled
In its direction
I too would hunker right down
Blast haters with icy winds

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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…”

First Day of Spring 2014

Wet snow coats the ground
Soft rains fall from a grey sky
The first day of spring

x     Two black crows squabble
x     Over mysteries revealed
x     By a changing world

Of so many absences
False promises of return

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Depth Charge: This is a hydra-headed tanka—two haikus share the same closing 7-7 couplet—that may be read in any order or combination.

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…”

Effortless Substitution

Forever Bicycles by Ai Weiwei at the AGO_20131005_155628

When faced with a difficult
Question, we often answer
An easier one
Without even noticing
The substitution
So when asked why I love you
I simply answer—I do

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(Renga from Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow)

Depth Charge: This poem started as a found inverse tanka (7-7-5-7-5 syllables) that consisted of a paraphrase of a sentence from Daniel Kahneman’s extremely erudite, informative and stimulating book, Thinking, Fast and Slow.  It then morphed into what I like to call masturbatory renga. In standard renga, two poets take turns writing the two parts of the tanka (5-7-5 and 7-7), but in this case the conversation is one-sided; I am simply reacting to what Kahneman has written and turning into a found poem, an exchange with myself stimulated by the thoughts of another: mental masturbation.

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

As close as the clouds (for Cutty) by Andrew Grimes Griffin

As close as the clouds (for Cutty), a new chapbook by Andrew Grimes Griffin

cicada étude 4 worms of love

Worms of Love

How could we not have known
My body pressing down on yours
Would smothering be
The grave’s cold clay,
My hot kisses the caresses
Of a thousand lovelorn worms,
Each “I love you” and “baby”,
One more tiny bite?

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All the études may be viewed here.

If you’d like to view the poetry and writing that is not tanka, or tanka related, 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…”

cicada étude 3 sick cicada/sick motherfucker by Jia Dao & AGG

Sick motherfucker; we sit hand-in-hand
Thin bones still thinner; voice of bitter song
Your skin sallow, blotched; your eyes choked with dust
Even the sparrows;are omens of harm

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病蝉
贾岛

病蝉飞不得,向我掌中 行。
拆翼犹能薄,酸吟尚极清。
露华凝在腹,尘点误侵睛。
黄雀并鸢鸟,俱怀害尔情。

Sick Cicada by Jia Dao
translated by Stephen Owen

A sick cicada, unable now to fly,
Walks over onto my palm.
Its broken wing can still grow thinner.
And its bitter songs are clear as ever.
Dewdrops stick to its belly,
Dust specks fallen by mischance in its eyes.
The oriole and the kite as well
Both harbor the thought of your ruin.

All the études may be viewed here.

If you’d like to view the poetry and writing that is not tanka, or tanka related, 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…”

cicada étude 2 remaindered (for Bob Read, d. 20001101)

Remaindered
(for Bob Read, died Nov 1, 2000)

乾称父,坤称母,予兹藐焉,乃混然中处
Heaven is father, Earth is mother, I this tiny being, am mixed in the midst of it all.
《西铭》张载/ from “Western Inscription” by Zhang Zai

Now that you’ve been dead
These ten long years,
I think it’s time we talked,
You cock-mad boy,
Wild for the touch of men,
Your lust for life
Burned you alive,
Leaving us to warm ourselves
Over your ashes,
On your half-remembered graces,
Leaving us to attempt alone
Our awkward waltzes.
I’ve made so many missteps
I could complain
It is hard to move gracefully
With one foot in the grave,
Yet you did it,
Made your dance to the graveyard
So uniquely your own,
Knowing
The sky is your father,
The earth is your mother,
And even at the very end,
As you so reluctantly left,
The universe enfolded you,
Somewhere in the small corners
Of the chaos called our hearts.

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Here is Grace Lin‘s translation of Remaindered into Chinese:

现在你已经离去
如此漫长的十年
想起我们说过的
这狂牛般的男孩
为男人抚触撒野
你对生命的饥渴
活活将你燃烧
留我们独自取暖
在你的骨灰之上
在你被半分惦记的优雅之上
留我们独自试图
怪异的华尔兹
我踏错许多步伐
我大可抱怨
步伐优雅多困难
当一脚踩进坟墓
然而你做到了
以舞步迈向坟地
那般独特属于你
知道
乾称父
坤称母
即便在最末时刻
你迟疑不愿离去
宇宙将你拥抱
在某一细微角落
我们的心嘈杂的呼唤中

All the études may be viewed here.

If you’d like to view the poetry and writing that is not tanka, or tanka related, 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…”

cicada étude 1 lucifugous

NOTICE: This video contains images of gay sex. If dude-on-dude action is not your thing, move on. Oh yes, definitely NSFW.

Strange how being naked dissolves
The illusion of our bodies,
Clothes like border guards
Deserting their posts.

Feeling him I think of you.

A memory as red as meat,
As vibrant as crickets,
Desire as simple, as keen
As the thing under childhood’s bed,

Waiting

To give kisses to the dream
That is our flesh,

As translucent as jellyfish,
As transient as tadpoles,

Evolving in the night.

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All the études may be viewed here.

If you’d like to view the poetry and writing that is not tanka, or tanka related, 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…”