Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Long Way Home

I’ll take the long way home.
I need more time to roam.
I’ll stroll down memory lane,
Out in the pouring rain.

I just need more time by myself,
Before I’m put back on your shelf.

Our house is warm and dry,
But I will pass it by.
And though I’m getting wet,
I just can’t face you yet,

Though you’re the woman I adore,
When I’m with you I miss you more.

So when will we discuss
This black cloud over us?
It seems that you’re content,
Just paying half my rent.

It’s been so long since I have heard
You say a single honest word.

The rain can hide my tears.
It’s been that way for years.
When did it all go wrong?
Or was it all along?

Maybe if you came out again,
You’d recall how we felt back then.

That’s how it all began.
We didn’t need a plan.
They thought we were insane
Kids kissing in the rain.

It’s cold outside; that much is true,
But colder inside next to you.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Personal Aspirations in J-Pan, #3

Now it’s time for another special edition of my aspirations with the Japanese language. I’m not really in the mood for lengthy introductions, so without further ado, here is where I’m at with my five goals.

Goal #1: Be able to have a simple conversation with my sister entirely in Japanese. I’m closer to this for sure. The conversations are still quite simplistic though. We have kind of a running joke right now that we use certain Japanese verb tenses to end our sentences in English. “Are you going to school today, ka?” “Why don’t we go eat breakfast masenka?” Somehow, it provides us with endless entertainment.

Goal #2: Play through a dialogue-intensive Japanese game, and actually understand it. I still haven’t started on this one, and really, at this point, it seems a little childish and stupid. This isn’t to say I won’t still do it, mind you.

Goal #3: Watch a Japanese cartoon, with no subtitles, and actually understand it. Well, in class, we’ve actually begun watching several movies without subs, and I must say I’m understanding next to none of it. I recognize a few expressions here and there, but for the most part, I’m getting about as much out of these movies as I would if the sound were off.

Goal #4: Apply to the JET Programme, and teach English in Japan. Well, I got rejected by the JET Programme, so during the break I enrolled in the TESOL United course, and got myself certified over the break. In a way, I’m actually glad I got rejected, because instead of being an assistant language teacher (which basically means being the token English gaijin in the classroom), I’ll be able to teach my own class, and design my own course. This is, of course, something I would have no idea how to do, had I not taken this course, but I have, and I do. I’m not entirely sure where to go from here, because I can start looking for work immediately, or I can loiter around the city another a year and continue my studies in English literature and Japanese here. There are merits to both, and I’m sure, strictly speaking, that there’s no wrong answer.

Goal #5: Write a short story in Japanese. I haven’t started yet. And now, time seems to be running out. In some free writing classes, we all get to try our hand at story telling, but in the time provided, we tend only to have time for about twelve sentences, if that.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Báthory Erzsébet

Goolzabet, Kroolzabet,
Báthory Erzsébet
Queen of the tower of
Torture and pain,

Mistress and countess whirls
Distress at countless girls;
She’s quite insane.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Step into the Ring of Fire

Come dance with me. Now step into the ring of fire.
Smile and kiss me. Now step into the ring of fire.
That’s cute. Acting coy. I know you want this. You liar.
Undress for me. Now step into the ring of fire.
Now let me bind your hands behind your back with wire.
I’ll set you free. Now step into the ring of fire.
On your knees. I own you. I’ll use you. Call me sire.
Come worship me. Now step into the ring of fire.
Lick me. Bite me. Tell me all the things you desire.
Come. Excite me. Now step into the ring of fire.
I want to make you giggle, beg, moan and perspire.
Give in to me. Now step into the ring of fire.
Love is violent, and its consequences dire.
Black hearts have we. Now step into the ring of fire.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Competitive Poetry: Sonnet vs. Sonnet

The contest has officially come to a close, and Inkpot has posted her sonnet too, titled: Mal Content, so go ahead and check it out. It’s quite good. Who is the real winner of this contest? Well, the way I see it we’re both winners, since we both wrote a sonnet this week, while obeying a number of restrictions. Or, if it tickles your fancy, you can pick a winner.

That about wraps it up for sonnet vs. sonnet. I rather like the notion of having weekly challenges – something Inkpot came up with. Therefore, I hereby extend forth an invitation for anybody to challenge me to a writing duel. I prefer poetry, as they tend to be fixed forms with fixed lengths, but I’m open to just about anything. So bring it on, people! Attack me if thou durst!

The Crow

Murdered the night before we planned to wed,
Our dreams faded entirely out of sight.
A year has passed, now I’m back from the dead,
And in the sky, a single crow takes flight.
I left my calling card upon the wall,
A bloody caricature of a crow.
A killer once, but victims aren’t we all?
That’s one down now; just three more left to go.
A lonesome girl sat huddled in the rain.
Cheer up, old friend. It can’t rain all the time.
I think of Shelly’s thirty hours of pain,
And promise to avenge this heinous crime.
This town has seen the last of Devil’s Night.
At last, I have returned to set things right.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Competitive Poetry: The Rules

As I mentioned before, I’ve challenged my good blog-friend Inkpot to a poetry duel. The deadline is Friday, and the rules are as follows:

The poem is to be a sonnet. The subject of the poem, is a favorite fictional character. The third rule, which has yet to be decided, (depending on whether Inkpot likes it or not), is to include all three words from any one set listed below. (These came from random people I know, some of whom are some of my readers. You all know who you are.)

JP: butterscotch, wildly, forego

Sis: caricature, lonesome, entirely

Akv: irrumatio, gourmand, vulgarly

Ema: drastic, Socrates, syphilitic

KK: tools, calligraphy, rock

I have a sinking feeling irrumatio isn’t a real word, but I thought it would be unfair not to list his submission.

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Farmer's Daughters

Sitting in the cafeteria today with some of my Japanese classmates, (whom I will henceforth refer to as the “Nihongoers”), I heard a very funny joke, (from a guy I’ll call “Jackhammer” because of its perfect blend of subtle cleverness and over-the-top lewdness. If you don’t know why it’s lewd, I win.) The joke rhymed, so I thought it appropriate for my blog. (Not that I’ve ever deemed anything inappropriate anyway!) Also, I’m sitting in the campus library between classes, and though I probably should be working on a research assignment, I… don’t… wanna! Anyway, here it is:

A farmer, a single father had three daughters who had just reached the dating age. He was a stern man, and generally overprotective of his daughters, and he thought it might be effective if he greeted each of his daughters’ suitors with his shotgun.

The first suitor comes knocking. The farmer answers, his shotgun loaded. He says nothing, and lets the young man speak.

“Hey, I’m Freddy. I’m here for Betty. Were goin’ out for spaghetti. Is she ready?”

The farmer thinks he seems like a nice enough guy, so he lets him in. Then comes the second suitor.

“Hey, m’name’s Joe. I’m here for Flo. We’re goin’ to a show. Is she ready to go?”

The farmer deems him a decent enough guy, and lets him by. Then comes the third.

“Hey, I’m Chuck –” Blam! The farmer shoots him dead. I guess there was really only one way to go from there.

Of course, now I find myself wondering, what was the third daughter’s name?

Pestering Sleep

You keep your distance, you pestering sleep!
Out from the darkness flew pestering sleep.
I dare not dream of rewards I will reap.
I have no time to do pestering sleep.
Lay waste to all of it, now in a heap,
You are a wrecking crew, pestering sleep.
Nag about promises I failed to keep.
I’ve nothing left in lieu, pestering sleep.
The love that I lost, the cuts they run deep.
This I don’t want to view, pestering sleep.
Up with a start, and then I start to weep.
Silence is nothing new, pestering sleep.
I’ve no resistance, you festering creep.
So keep your distance, you pestering sleep!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Scarlet and the Poison Blog

I went on a date yesterday, that wasn’t really a date. We went on a few dates in the past, and then she told me that *I* didn’t seem interested in *her*, so I just gave up. I couldn’t quite get my head around arguing with that. And since generally I assume any kind of negative answer actually means that *she’s* not interested in *me*, I gave up. I figured that she was trying in some strange way to be nice about, to make it seem as though us not seeing one another was my idea.

So later, I ranted about it in my blog, clearly having completely forgotten I’d told her about it. When I look back on it, I should have known, because usually, I blog about the dates I have, and there was empty space where her entries should be.

Anyway, I already wrote a poem about this, but in a nutshell, she read it, (oops), and we started talking again. It was apparent that we both still liked each other. “Liked” is the keyword here, because it isn’t clear that it will ever be anything more.

On Thursday, I asked her out again, and her answer was “I don’t know. I read your blog.” This matches the first response I got from Nurse Betty verbatim. And I just thought to myself, “Okay, that’s it. I’ve had it. No more telling the women that I’m interested in about my blog.” While I enjoy my blog, as presumably do you, my reader(s), it has had a tendency to poison my chances with any woman that reads it.

Scarlet doesn’t believe me when I say I’m interested in her, because I still talk about Betty. She thinks that I’m desperate and that I’d go out with just about anybody. I’m not convinced we share the same definition of desperate. The fact that I’m looking for a girlfriend does not make me desperate, or if it does, then I know an awful lot of desperate people. A lot of lonely people too. And since I know you’re reading this, I might as well address you in first person.

Yes, I’m interested in finding a girlfriend, and yes, I’ve tried my luck with several others before you. Yes, I haven’t had a girlfriend in a long time, and yes, I still miss my ex tremendously. Yes, I still *like* Betty. I want to talk to her again. I want her to be my friend like before, because there really aren’t so many people whose company I enjoy quite as much as hers, and fewer still who like sushi as much as I do. You’d think more people would like sushi. Yes, I fell very hard for her, but that was after you turned me down. Yes, I don’t know everything about you. How well is well-enough? How do you know I don’t already know enough to be interested? Yes, I’m impatient. Yes, I’m using the word ‘yes’ too much, and yes, I’m interested in you.

I think you’re smart, I think you’re pretty, I think you’re fun to be with, and if you give me excuses, I can only conclude that you don’t feel the same way about me. And that’s fine. But don’t tell me I’m desperate, and don’t tell me I’m not interested in you, because I may be no genius, but I’m not stupid.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Sublime in Darkness

You were once my bright star. Now I’m in darkness.
Your voice to me is like a chime in darkness.
My words pass over you like cumulus clouds,
I feel as useless as a mime in darkness.
No, please don’t tear-up; I should never have asked.
I want you to forget your time in darkness.
Hands tied, mouth gagged, and a knife held at your throat,
You held your breath throughout that crime in darkness.
You’re so brave, and I’m so grateful you’re alive.
Somehow you faced that lonely climb in darkness.
Let your tears wreck my shirt; I won’t let you go.
Not until you feel safe, sublime in darkness.
I want your light to come back. But if it won’t,
I’ll write your kind black heart this rhyme in darkness.

Poetry Challenge

I hereby challenge Inkpot to a duel!

No, there won’t be swords or pistols involved. This time. It will be a war of word and wit. Okay, so we’ll each write a poem, that’s it, but our honor as writers is on the line. Okay, no it isn’t, but the winner gets bragging rights. Okay, so I’m not entirely sure how a winner can be determined with something like poetry, but I’m sure we’ll have fun with it. I believe the deadline will be this coming Friday.

But wait! We need a fixed form, and we need a theme for the poem. So, any suggestions?

Monday, February 2, 2009

Groundhog Day

I don’t know how to spend today.
Is there no way to end today?
I may not be a god per se,
But time itself will bend today.
“I got You Babe” begins to play.
My radio I’ll rend today.
What once was fun has gone to gray.
It all begins to blend today.
There’s nothing left for me to say.
I’ll watch the snow descend today.
I now see pain I might allay.
I’ve started a new trend today.
The choking man, the child at play,
I’ve all my life to lend today.
Though in my arms, he passed away.
I did my best to mend today.
I want my feelings on display.
So I will not pretend today.
It’s cold tonight. Will you please stay?
My black heart needs a friend today.

Ghazal Puzzle

Well, it’s officially the middle of winter today. Groundhog Day. I wouldn’t say today was a cold day, though, and it’s been a great way to go skating on the canal. I live around 300 meters from the world’s largest skating rink. That’s right, the Rideau Canal is the longest in the world, and it runs right through the place I call home.

Anyway, last week I went to a poetry workshop where I was introduced to a new form, called the ghazal, a rather reflexive form that tends to honor the predecessors that inspired the poet. As such, the references can get rather obscure, but I’m quite intrigued by the structure and the rhyming scheme. Ideally, the ghazal fits together like a puzzle, (pardon the silly rhyme), in that it is comprised of many couplets that revolve around the same theme, but could also work perfectly well as a poem on their own. Their combination however, (typically at least five couplets), should work towards giving a deeper meaning. This form, as with most poetic forms, is not necessarily meant to be understood, but rather, it is meant to immerse the reader into a mood, with something not quite tangible, the way music might affect someone.

The original ghazals were intrinsically linked to a kind of ambiguity between the love for a sexual partner, and the love of Allah, the idea is that it should be open to interpretation, and that any part could be interpreted to be the love of a lover, or the love of god. Obviously, as an atheist writing in this form some 1500 years later, in an entirely different language, one might argue that what I’m writing isn’t a ghazal, and that it’s an abomination of the form, and of Arabic and Persian culture. Guess what, Islam. This is my caring face. I already know what you think of me. So without further ado, I’m going to make my first attempt, hopefully later tonight, in the tradition of Groundhog Day.