Sunday, April 03, 2011

Twitter Tanka

The following tanka have been published on Twitter, but nowhere else. I thought I ought to gather them up and put them some place easier to find.

move over, Shiki,
there’s more than
a wisteria branch
to be seen from
this invalid’s bed

nothing certain
but death and taxes,
I suffer from
a little of each

I look like Frankenstein:
I’m green,
and I have stitches
in each temple
where they took the biopsies

ah, Melville,
what’s Moby Dick to me
when I can
conquer the world
from the comfort of my desk?

the clock
above my desk
talks to me
when everyone else
is asleep tonight

aluminum extrusion—
that’s my cousin’s business
down in Georgia,
vague recollections that
once they owned slaves

some words
are harder
to open than

the ghosts of winter
drifting aimlessly
amid the green and yellow
blinking lights
of the holiday

tall ships
in a shallow fog
trapped in
the bowl of heaven

another chill evening—
finding love poems
I wrote
last winter to
a married man

everything ends
at the beginning of winter—
mother, nephew, lover
nothing but
grief remains

the cat always returns
is it any wonder
I give my love
to a rover
in the night?

things that come
with the fog:
horseshoe crabs,
tall ships,
and wandering hearts

the ensign again
on the hatch
as the sun sets

the minor key
of an old song
as sailors
keep watch
in the dusk

that cool breeze
is a harbinger 
of storms to come:
Earl, Fiona, Gaston
crossing the Atlantic

a tarnished sun
in a glistening sea
a wooden ship
makes her way
towards shelter

a forest 
of fishboats
side by side
in the hurricane hole

tied up
at the State Pier,
I can watch the city
as if it were
a million miles away

sitting in the pew
where Melville sat,
with a hurricane 
bearing down on me,
I contemplate the cenotaphs

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