What Possible Pleasures

Now that you are tightly held
By everyone’s final lover,
Leaving us to salt our own wounds
In each other’s wanting arms,
I know, I know you said we must
Get past the problems of today
For the enjoyment of tomorrow,
So please, please forgive us our tears
Because right now it is hard to see
What possible pleasures could be
Born of pain so sharp, so dear.

AGG20140618
(In Memoriam, Doug McColeman, 1962-2014)

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…”

AIDS is the Age of Christ

(A sonnet to the God of Plague)

Now AIDS is the age of Christ
When he was scourged, crucified;
It has been thirty-three years
Since our skins first bloomed bruises—

Passion purpled—pain blossomed,
We began to die too young,
No chance of resurrection,
In our modern fairytales,

And if now we have some pills,
And it doesn’t kill—so quickly,
There remains the terrible
Memory of that reaping,

We see shadows hint at spaces
Where entire lives could have been.

AGG20140602

Depth Charge: 1981 is generally considered to mark the beginning of the onslaught of AIDS in North America because that is the year cases first appeared in the gay communities of New York and San Francisco, although we now know that the virus was present much earlier. There has been an upsurge in interest in this period with the documentaries How to Survive a Plague and We Were Here, and the film The Dallas Buyers Club, and the made-for-tv movie The Normal Heart all being released in the past couple of years. Criticism has been leveled at some of these works that they leave out important parts of the story, but I think that is because that period in history and the issues are so painful and complex that any single effort to encapsulate them will fail. It is best to take them all to together, if you can bear to. It is especially harrowing watching these works because we are still living with this virus in our midst 33 years later. As for the title, 33 years is popularly held to be the age at which Jesus Christ was crucified.

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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A meteor in dark flight

Once you shone so brightly—now—
A meteor in dark flight,
Invisible and falling;
We stand silently—breath held—
To see if you hit the ground.

AGG20140413

“We are going to be looking at these poems primarily as literary documents and so we need not pursue further the connection between these poems and objects on the ground,” Masterpieces of Ancient Greek Literature, Part I, by Professor David J. Schenker

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…”

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…”

Two Figures in a Winter Landscape

Two figures in a winter landscape

This year two tributary rivers
The Hillsborough and the North Rivers

Offered up one suicide a piece
To the salt of Charlottetown harbour

Now almost erased by ice and snow
I see two dark shapes together move

Two figures in a winter landscape
I wonder whether it is safe out there

Will the ice support their combined weight
Will they suddenly be swallowed

By the cold hungry waters with their
Appetite for human suffering

I watched them recede from a distance
They disappeared behind the lighthouse

Vanished in each other’s company
What became of them we cannot say

AGG20131231

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…”

Take a Walk by Your Graveside

Halloween Two Ghosts

Take a Walk by Your Graveside
(R.I.P. Bob and Lou with thanks to K.N.)

This Halloween we’ll swoop, swoop, rock, rock
Take a walk by your graveside,
Hear the music without the musician,
Marvel at the magic without the magician,
And all the young queers in the bathhouses,
Will shed a tear for bygone blowjobs,
And all the boys in the backrooms
Who died of the same,
Every hairy teddy bear and shaved tom cat,
Will swoop, swoop, oh baby, rock, rock
As we walk by your graveside.

AGG20131031

Depth Charge: It was my first boyfriend who introduced me to Lou Reed’s album Transformer. I had heard Walk on the Wild Side, but the album in its entirety was another thing all together and, for him, the song Andy’s Chest held a special significance.  Also, at this time of year my thoughts always turn to my friend Bob Read and his death on Nov 1, 2000.  Fortunately, Halloween and friends bring all these memories into the present and the music can live on without the musician.

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…”

Imagined Meteorites

Three Streetlights and the Moon on St. Low

Imagined Meteorites
(Lest We Remember)

The October wind strips the trees,
Exposes the relentless lamplights;
Their garish glow takes over once shaded streets,
Gives them the monotone appearance of public restrooms.

Although it is still two hours before sunrise,
I cannot see the sky for the streetlights’ glare,
So I must imagine it full of falling stars,
Each trailing its own bright thoughts behind it.

And in your own arcing fall into grace
Will you completely disappear, like many I have known,
Become a transitory meteor that never reaches earth,
Your very trace erased by this damnable, ever-present light?

Will you burn yourself out in memories of what you were,
Become an all too brief history that precluded your possible futures,
Or will you strike the ground hardened and black,
Freed by forgetfulness and the forgiving dark,
Full of alien elements and ineluctable dreams?

AGG20131023

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…”

Some people settle quietly

Some people settle quietly

I feel my father slip
Deeper into his coffin
from Reaching Half-Life in My Backyard by Zubair Ahmed

Some people settle quietly
Into their coffins
Nestle back
Into the quilted comfort
Snug as a bug

Why won’t you?

I hear you complaining
In the wind
Early in the morning
Late at night
Especially in the autumn
When leaves are a shower
Of suicide notes
And children and ghosts
Begin picking out
Hallowe’en costumes
Eager to burst forth
Unquiet
From homes and graves

AGG2030922

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…”

The long-dead stars though nameless

Together Forever Princetown Cemetery PEI_20130728

Although you are gone
Someday to be forgotten
I cannot be sad
The long-dead stars though nameless
Shine in everything we see

AGG20130905

Depth Charge: First, a few words about process, this poem is the direct descendant of yesterday’s, vastly inferior, September Dawning.  As is often the case, I need to write my way through a chain of poems to get to something actually worth reading.  Second, I tag almost everything I write on this blog as “Enlightened Nihilism” and this poem represents the most concise expression of its principles that I have so far written.

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…”