Thursday, January 28, 2010


To which one belongs
the gold word-fame of the day?
We each turn and say,
Not to me, and Not to me,
and with each instance,
as we pass it to others,
our own glory grows
and cements these new friendships—
and we know this as we speak.


I raise up my hand,
and my liege glides to my side,
fits her hand on mine,
where we both swore it would rest.
As the sky bears down,
her weight is a light burden;
as the earth bears up,
I do my best not to quake.
We have this promise,
but I’m afraid I will fail,
drop her hand, and run away.


They who prayed to the
antediluvian gods
and burnt offerings
died long ago, before time,
and no written word
records their zealous speeches.
They were washed away,
but we will last forever,
lost in a deluge of text.

春の歌 [Spring Song]


[When will flowers bloom?
The fated snow that arrives
in the hot weather
covers up for just one day,
for just one minute,
the filthy disorder of
the time of my birth,
then immediately leaves.
Spring is always so dirty.]

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


I protect my eyes
from seeing and being seen.
What gets in gets out:
it's like doors, not osmosis.
It is only safe
in a realm of loneliness.
If I venture out,
will my eyes go out also?
Will they go closed or open?

Monday, January 25, 2010


OMG, you guys!
Canada is, in fact, in
North America.


Linguistics classes
are awesome 'cause everyone
sits around making
ridiculous foreign sounds:
it's so funny to hear it!

Englyn Unodl Crwc

When we laugh at him and root
for him to look dumb, or shoot
down his plans and make him mute, it's totally
because we think he's cute.

Englyn Cyrch

My peers' least favorite antic,
the one that drives them frantic,
is when I say what I think
in ink and am pedantic.


Is the Sublime Force
inherently masculine,
as I heard her say?
Maybe it is, for I love
the Sublime and hate Woman.


What is the essence
of an era lost to time?
Only words remain
alongside the voiceless mouths
of dull, unfaithful portraits.


I'm shown a
bored woman. The shower
is the author of
a history that tears
my books in
slashed-up sections and the
enemy of the naturally evening
force of time. The woman is a
burner of offerings, a prayer
to gods of refinement, to
the gods of her elegant commune,
gods who celebrate this present beauty to
forget the future. The entrance
of disintegration into the world is
not yet come, and without
its vivifying presence, the
sense of things is towed out to sea, and the tower
is the endless stream of
dull daily existence and its content:
short poems, useless sleeves, gossip that leaves all agape.
The carefully chosen words that she
weaves, cut off from the warmth of the chanson and the lied,
the passion and
primitiveness of the
later world, are string she winds
endlessly into a ball, a buffet
of ephemeral delicacies, and time, the severer,
severs the string, more inevitable than
death. The era is a
task completed; the string is wound.
All is swept into the
rain-swelled sewer.
What can be said of
a people whose lives were mere recreation?
No trace of them remains, except for
coldly crafted words, the
children of sweets and sake,
and stylized representations of
dead persons that leave the
viewer lonely and invalid.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Maybe when you sense
that the top-ranking person
would maybe like you
to maybe shut the fuck up,
you should probably do that.

Never, ever talk
for the benefit of those
who consider you
their peer or inferior:
they'll see it as showing off.

It's embarrassing
to listen to idiots
display ignorance.
You guys all need to chill out.
Be normal. Seriously.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


The nights are still cold,
and I don't wear a jacket,
so the cold gets in.
In the same way, I read things,
listen, watch, and write my name.


"The Lark Ascending"
is the most beautiful piece
I have ever heard.
It's well it has an end, or
I'd die of thirst, listening.


Someone swore to me
that men and women can be
just friends. I think not:
I can't even be just friends
with my friends who are women!


Before modern times,
people valued elegance.
Before ancient times,
they threw themselves in frenzies,
worshiping violent gods.


Some subjects are thought
to be inappropriate
for our poetry.
No one wants to read about
your most passionate feelings.


This girl in my class
is prettier than a boy:
but, looking sharply,
I see now that she isn't.
Beauty dies out so quickly!


Under the pure snow,
the rotting leaves of autumn
wait to reappear.
The people around me smile
bright, pure smiles as white as snow.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Sonnet LXVII: Benkei

Yoshitsune might forgive him
but maybe god and fate would not--
yet his master must outlive him
no matter what the gods had brought.

So he raised his hand, intending
to continue their pretending
because he feared much more the pain
of separation than disdain.

All we value, every blunder,
is captured and revealed in fears:
it was the first time he shed tears.

When I hear him speak, I wonder
if there is anyone god gave
to me whom I would sin to save.

Sonnet LXVI

Oh no! Again I'm realizing just
how much, much more I know than she who is
my teacher. It is painful, but I must
refrain from editing her weekly quiz.

But her experience is long and broad;
I want to hear her fascinating past.
The things that she could teach me must be odd,
(if only I could hear them) odd and vast.

And suddenly, I have this sickened fear
that this might be how I was when I taught.
I try to say things only if it's clear
I know my subject well, so maybe not...

I shudder--this humiliating farce
is begging me to check, to search, to parse.

Formes Fixes: Olivier de Vienne


Telling your proud commander,
"You are a fool!"
ought to have been a danger,
but I, who heard this slander,
laughed, as my rule.
Telling your proud commander,
"You are a fool!",
scolding, you showed me grander
tactics to cool
heads and defeat the stranger.
Telling your proud commander,
"You are a fool!"
ought to have been a danger...


Here, it doesn't signify
that two minutes back, a cry
went between us, sharp and shy:
in a battle, we are one.
Just another squabble--why
get girlish, sigh
in the quietness, and shun
your unruly friend? Apply
that mercy: try
to ignore what's past and done.
You are pierced by spears, and by
my bravado; I will fly
to you with no thought of my
petty anger: there is none.
Here, it doesn't signify
that two minutes back, a cry
went between us, sharp and shy:
in a battle, we are one.


Honestly, I believe I never felt
pain for another like the way I cried
(and we will scrape the demons off the pelt
covering Earth--their treason and my pride)
when it was you who spoke my name and died.
Spain spun, its hinges loosened as you dealt
words ever poised and justice. I believed
I would not ever be without my guide...
but, as it happens, I was not long grieved.

Sonnet LXV: Aspiration

Like the strongest in creation,
become the sky. Grow tall and cold.
Fill the world with fascination;
be dark against the setting gold.
Let the silence of the forest
settle after dawn is chorused;
let not the shadows think to run
the path dictated by the sun.
In the time for fire, make ready
to sear the countryside below.
In times that call for wind to blow,
see the hurricanes are steady.
And in the time for love, remain
immovable as mountain chain.

Better or Best

People mean ‘better’ when they say ‘best’
because we’re in this place.
I think of something perfect or blessed.
I want to fail the cruelest test,
but we’re in this small space;
people mean ‘better’ when they say ‘best’.
People get tired, abandon the quest,
abandon the good race—
I think of something perfect or blessed.
I want to lose with wellsprings of zest
belying the long chase.
People mean ‘better’ when they say ‘best’.
None of your comrades may have confessed,
but I think they lose face;
I think of something perfect or blessed.
I want to tell the secrets I’ve guessed
for I have no real grace.
People mean ‘better’ when they say ‘best’;
I think of something perfect or blessed.


I want to be an admirable man:
so when that boy uncloses eyes that shine
with adoration, large and young, I go
to work. This helpless person is the point
of focus for my life—one has to have
a focus!—and I always wanted some
unblinking baby to be mine, my own!

An admirable man would never leave
the boy alone, is always thinking first
about his darling, sacrifices and
protects, stands firm and sympathetic when
the boy impatiently abuses him
—the child must not be held responsible.
An admirable man bears up beneath
the crippling pain he carries on his own.
He has a Code; he cannot lose (at least,
when he is fighting for his dearest one).

All these ideals—to be owned, to be
a sacrificial, self-sufficient man,
to be invariably selfless and
invariably loyal, even more
to be INVARIABLE—all of these
are just impossible; and even though
they are unpleasant, something else is worse.
For I don’t want to be the Other one
(the child, the slave driver, the Female Thing)—
I will become admirable instead.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sonnet Cycle: Love


One word I hate is “love”, because it has
so many meanings that it has become
completely meaningless, and thus, it’s as
inept and pointless as ourselves. It’s numb.
What’s told about it is so many lies:
they say it’s always lovely, always good,
or always something we should realize,
or always anything (or always should!).
I hesitate to rip apart the hopes
of simple folk; who knows? Perhaps their dreams
will really come to be, and all these tropes
will spring to life and chalk up all the screams.
I only know myself; I always find
that Love is often cruel, seldom kind.


I believe that every person
desires the Good, that we are drawn
to perfection, some insertion
the soul absorbs (and then it’s gone).
Love’s the perfect recognition
of that Good in one position:
we followed Love and swore our hearts.
Then Love revealed itself in parts
and we knew it false: and whether
deliberate deception or
a simple emptiness of core,
we discover late the tether
is tied, and our attempts to please
just prove us mediocrities.


A perfect one does not exist, and yet,
I can envision him: I take a horn
and take a horse and make a unicorn;
I make a griffin and a cherubet,
and those I owe my focus I forget.
They know me, but I leave them all forlorn,
and give them no approval and no scorn;
pay them no attention, am no threat—
for they are not Perfection. It is he
whom I pursue; I long to press my lips
against his cold and frightened skin just there.
I follow ever after him to see
if I can catch him, but he always slips—
I touch him, and he melts away to air.


Love is merely the desire
to fully, carefully possess.
Thus I see the Good entire
and hunger to consume the mess,
take it in myself, and make it
part of me. I swallow, take it
in an embrace; I button right
this goodness to me, close and tight.
But unluckily things perish
when they are burnt or smothered still
or eaten all at once at will,
leaving me, although I cherish
them and long to swim and drown
in fountains I cannot drink down.


And Love, when—if—it comes, is everything.
It fills the mind with images and sounds,
the hands are busy with creation rounds,
and sleep’s no longer needed, fall or spring.
And Love’s the greatest motivating side;
it’s stronger in a contest than is Force,
it’s swifter than is Shame at nightfall’s source,
it’s sweeter when fatigue sets in than Pride.
We know, of course, Love’s power’s hard to sway;
to overcome it, one must stab one’s thrall
with ice one gathers from the frozen font—
then self-control and honor win the day—
but I hate Love because I never fall
in love with people I’m allowed to want.

After Math, son of Mathonwy


So well named was Gwydion - he hallowed
the heartbeats of his eon
and composed englynion.


The magic of the story
is the part that makes glory
of what is gaunt and gory.


Is there any unjust cause when at war?
Wise men see that all laws
are as unchanging as flaws
in ice during winter thaws.


Even faster than the stag
is the smooth word sent to nag
at a quick-tempered man's flag - his own pride,
drawing him out to brag.


I know a creature so big,
wars fought for her blast and dig
into nations, yet so small
that for all, she gives a fig.


The she-wolf with pup half-grown
is brother to one whose sin
was well and knowingly done
for love of a weak-willed man.


The true parent of a sprite
teaches him to be adroit
and to look for what is sweet
in what seems a cruel fate.


Can twenty thousand good deeds
and a wise spirit redeem
one bad choice? And do our creeds
require that we hum this theme?