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Dragyn, Giver of Karma [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
whether positive or negative, one's karma is earned...

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While looking at Boats, I think of the Bon Festival [Jul. 27th, 2007|05:53 pm]
Japan in July – They honor the dead
with paper lanterns, origami boats,
and offerings of rice balls and water
to extinguish the desires of the ghosts
of their unquenchable hunger and thirst.

What would it take to satisfy their thirst?
As water flows down the throats of the ghosts
it turns fire – Too hot, even for the dead.
The lanterns’ reflection on the water
float the surface like little yellow boats.

Through trees, white lights intersperse with the boats.
They appear as Kodama on water
Wide-eyed and gape-mouthed, they call out I thirst
I see their eyes and the eyes of the dead
– No difference between Kodama and ghosts.

One day I will join the realm of the ghosts.
Just I – And the Kodama – And the dead.
We will stare blankly at flickering boats –
And the living – We will hunger and thirst,
never to be satisfied with water.

What desires are satisfied with water?
No human, Kodama, nor ghosts can thirst.
We dive for the light. They vanish like ghosts.
We wait the reappearance of the boats –
For who can live in this land of the dead?
LinkPull my tail...

An Open Letter to Out Magazine [Jul. 17th, 2007|11:19 am]
Dear Out Magazine,

I was on the ever-popular Myspace checking my messages when I came across your ad on my homepage. It consists of four short sentences, followed by an image of a cover of Out Magazine. I feel it is important to express with you my feelings of hurt and anger with this ad and what you feel is representative of the "evolution of gay culture".

In 1969, the GLBT Rights Movement began in New York, in a run down bar called the Stonewall Inn. During those times, it was illegal for men to dance together, and every now and then the police force would come and arrest one or two men who didn't have the foresight to notice the red light that came on showing that the police were entering. Police officers would come into the bar in disguise to try to find these "perverts" by hitting on them. One hot night in June, the patrons had had enough, and they took to the streets. Imagine the surprised look on the citizen's faces when they saw six-foot drag queens running down the streets, chanting "We are the Stonewall girls, we wear our hair in curls! We wear our dungarees below our nelly knees!" while at the same time, the police officers in riot gear were attacking these men, beating them, yelling for their fellow officers to "Get the fags down and keep them down!"

Robert L. Pela. Bella Abzug. Stephen Van Cline. Danny Garvin. I bet very few in the GLBT community can new describe what contribution these citizens have made in regards to our rights. These, along with others, are the ones who fought for the right for us to be open in public about our lives without having to worry about being beaten or killed. They were the beginning of the gay culture for me, the culture of new life, the culture of freedom.

Your ad reads "Daring Style", "Fashion Forward", "Trend Setting", and then you have the audacity to say that this is the evolution of gay culture. To say that gay culture revolves around having the most toned body, having the latest gadgets, toys, and most outlandish clothing, is what our culture stands for, it makes one wonder whether Alan Keyes is correct in his assessment that the gay culture amounts to nothing but "selfish hedonism". To say that the evolution of gay culture has resulted in a focus on corrupt materialism and not the gay spiritual community, on fashion trends and not on gay rights abuse trends, on having the best body and not on what damages it is doing to gay men and lesbians who suffer from anorexia, bulimia, eating disorders, and the like. These things represent a culture that denies life, and that is a "culture of death".

You speak of the evolution of gay culture as daring. How dare you make that claim? You speak of the evolution of gay culture as forward. Have you really brought the gay community forward with this ad? You speak of the evolution of gay culture as trend setting. I wonder, and fear, what exactly the trend is that you are trying to set? And I wonder one more thing: had those citizens known what the evolution of the gay community would evolve into, would they have even bothered fighting for it? Or would they have sat silently in the bar, and not given birth to the movement that empowered you to claim your magazine as a representative of gay culture.

One Ultimately Cultureless Homosexual,

M.E. Graves
LinkPull my tail...

Clouds [Jun. 3rd, 2007|01:51 pm]
The grays of these days blaze through skies -
Brown singed rows of blanks between blues.
Like sky paper, this thoughtless day
Has no inspiration in it –
Just this continuous screaming
In an Indian blanket speak.

Lines of black ink break through the pines
Underlining flock-like smudges –
As eight thought bubbles float upward
They form Latin words and numbers
VIII vivi – eight lives
All dissolve into periods.... .. . .
LinkPull my tail...

Privacy and Publicity: Memorial Day Weekend [May. 25th, 2007|05:04 pm]
[I Am |calmcalm]

Amendment IX
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

This quirky amendment has always been controversial due to the elusive wording, though many of us in the GLBT community invoke this amendment so as to enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in a way we see fit. If two consenting same sex adults find that they are attracted to each other, then what right does the US, as a secular government, meaning that we do not allow our laws to be dictated on a purely religious basis, have to restrict this grouping, regardless of a number of citizen's own personal discomfort with it? Regardless whether one believes that homosexuality is biological or physiological, like skin tone or eye color, or viewed as a choice, like a religion or political ideology, the nature of the ninth amendment of the Constitution is so strong that equality and privacy must outweigh the citizen's own personal feelings, even if the percentage who feel that way far outnumber the minority opinion. It must be noted that equality and privacy are only enumerated so long as it does not result in a situation that is deemed damaging, such as rape or pedophilia, or illegal, such as murder or drug use.

The GLBT community, however, can only request privacy on the basis of their sincerity. We cannot, in good conscience, demand that the government allow us to live our lives in peace and to "stay out of our bedrooms", while at the same time turn a blind eye toward the debauchery and public display of sexuality that so often accompany events where large numbers of the GLBT community attend, such as Memorial Day Weekend Circuit Parties. In our own desires to relieve ourselves of the burden of sexual boredom or societal standards, we have damaged our own cause, in some cases fatally, by our constant sexual innuendo and thrusting of our sexual nature into the public arena, such as on a beach during Memorial Day Weekend or even outside on Palafox Street discussing sadomasochism while a family escorts their seven years old child to the Seanger for a ballet recital.

If we, as a group, want to demand that the government "stay out of our bedrooms", then we, as a group, must also demand that those who wish to display their private desires to "stay in the bedroom", as well.
LinkSee what happens...Pull my tail...

(no subject) [May. 20th, 2007|09:22 pm]
In death, all answers are questioned.
LinkPull my tail...

The Promise [May. 20th, 2007|02:54 pm]
I wonder if his wooden ark had windows
To ventilate the smell of urine and feces
Morning after morning after morning
Looking out at the blue sky and blue water –

Just Noah and his wife
And Shem and his
And Ham and his
And Japheth and his

Next to two komodo dragons whose mouths must have festered
With every imaginable bacteria, or two of each, at least
The chimpanzees as they flung feces at each other
As though they were kids in a snowball fight
The brownness hitting their faces
Revealing two dung beetles attached to a piece of corn
Their exoskeletons ticking on the floor
Clicking in their private living quarters

I wonder what they and their wives must have thought
As they looked out the window
At the vast wasteland that was once the center of civilization
Watching the bodies of waterlogged children –
Their eyes blood red
Beneath a translucent rainbow
LinkPull my tail...

Blank verse; the Battle of the Roses [May. 12th, 2007|08:39 pm]
Blank verse is a type of poetry, distinguished by having a regular meter, but no rhyme. In English, the meter most commonly used with blank verse has been iambic pentameter.

The first known use of blank verse in the English language was by Henry Howard, Earl of Arundel and Surrey in his interpretation of the Æneid (c. 1554). He was possibly inspired by the Latin original, as classical Latin verse (as well as Greek verse) did not use rhyme; he may have been inspired by the Italian verse form of versi sciolti, which also contained no rhyme. The unknown author of Arden of Faversham (circa 1590) is the most interesting example of end-stopped blank verse

Blank verse, of varying degrees of regularity, has been used quite frequently throughout the 20th century in original verse and in translations of narrative verse. Most of Robert Frost's narrative and conversational poems are in blank verse; so are other important poems like Wallace Stevens's "The Idea of Order at Key West" and "The Comedian as the Letter C", W. B. Yeats's "The Second Coming", W. H. Auden's "The Watershed", John Betjeman's Summoned by Bells, and so on. A complete listing is impossible, since a sort of loose blank verse has become a staple of lyric poetry, but it would be safe to say that blank verse is as prominent now as it has been any time in the past three hundred years.

If given a choice between writing most of my poems in either blank verse or free verse, I would have to choose blank verse. Since it does not use skill to create the nonrhymes, the skill must come from the use of systematic syllable usage. Though I am not too concerned with a specified meter, I also feel that my non-use of it gives it an illusion of free verse that so many modern poetry readers crave.

The Battle of the Roses

I stumbled upon this vast battlefield.
And though it was purely accidental
there is not a hint of surprise in you -

your face remains in a quiet blank stare,
surveying what is left of this war patch.
A soft red tear drips from you to my feet.

We both look over this tainted red field
but can see only bulbous bursts of blood
dried on moldy spears, rusted bayonets,

and grey skulls that look like old dead comrades.
But where are your fellow soldiers? Where? Where?
Surely, even quivering enemies

would be a much more consoling viewpoint
than muteness consuming the two of us.

There are no cries of man's suffering here.
Their voices have been silenced long ago.
I hear the wind wailing. Blood drops softly.

And you stagger for only a moment
viewing this vast carnage that surrounds you
your eyes silently screaming, "Why? Why? Why?"

Though had I only known death smelled so sweet
I'd have enlisted in this militia
so many years ago.
LinkPull my tail...

Bussokusekika, The Buddha's Footstone Poems [Apr. 29th, 2007|04:52 pm]
Bussokusekika, also known as Bussokuseki-no-Uta, are poems inscribed beside the stone Buddha Foot monument at Yakushi Temple in Nara. Numbering twenty-one poems in total, they are divided into two sections. Seventeen poems praise the virtue of Buddha. Four poems warn against the impermanence of life and preach the true Buddhist path. Part of the stone monument has worn away making the eleventh poem of the first section and the fourth poem of the second section partially unreadable. The Buddha Foot monument at Yakushi Temple was constructed in 753 and the poems are viewed as being composed around that time. The author is unknown.

The poems are written in Man'yōgana, a precursor to kana where Chinese characters are used for their phonetic value, and in Bussokuseki-style. Named after the poems, Bussokuseki-style is an archaic poetic device in which lines are written in a 5-7-5-7-7-7 mora pattern. It is seen during the Nara period but greatly diminishes by the Heian period. It is an early form of waka.

I am still in a bit of a slump regarding writing for my own book, and so I have taken to writing some established forms to take my mind off of it. I decided to try this form simply due to the fact that I am a Buddhist and thought it interesting to have a poetic form exclusively for it, even though it has technically died off and has been merged in with the waka. I looked online for quite a while to find the actual poems, and I found a piece of "The Buddha's Footstone Poems", found on page 10 with a small article on pages 10-11.. This is PDF, so make sure you have Acrobat. If you don't, here's what they have:

Köre nö yö Fa
Uturisaru tö mo
TökötöFa ni
Nöti nö yö nö tamë
Mata nö yö nö tamë

Though this present world
Will alter and pass away,
In eternal stone
Let these remain in being
For the sake of the world to come,
For the sake of other worlds.

Fitö nö mï Fa
Egataku areFa
Nöri nö ta nö
Yösuka tö nareri
Tutömë morömorö
Susume morömorö

The human body
It is a hard thing to attain:
It has become
For the Law a refuge,
Strive onward, all!
Press onward, all!

Idakuti nö
Fikari nö götöki
Köre nö mï Fa
Sini nö oFokimi
Tune ni taguFeri
OduFëkarazu ya

The fearsome hammer
And the flash of light: even so,
This our body;
The Great Lord of Death
Is always beside us –
Should we not be afraid?

I have some livejournal friends who actually know Japanese. I don't, so I won't even try to match the syllables through one of those online translators. I'll simply try to stay true to the 5-7-5-7-7-7 in English:

Your thousand-spoke feet
Tread over the city roads
Mountains and forests.
Yet each time you walk new land
You have been there all the while –
For how can the Truth be new?

Footprints wash away
Like sand in a great monsoon –
It is easier
For monsoons to form footprints
Than to be born a human,
Who can wait to tread the Path?
LinkPull my tail...

I look out the Window of Hemingway's on the Beach [Apr. 16th, 2007|12:25 pm]
I see red verticals and white horizontals. Ghosts float on the water, eating translucent food. A man opens his eyes and looks up, his glasses become two oval moons above the dock which pierces his chest like a stake. No blood bleeds through his white shirt. I get out of my seat to feel his heartbeat, his eyes turning to me.

I feel nothing but coldness.

These black tablecloths slither in the wind like watersnakes. The lights on the dock in front of me cast orange orbs in the sky flattening on thwe water. Pieces of orange are ripped away, layer and layer, into the blackness of shadows. Another man looks into my eyes and smiles. He reaches out to hold my hand.

I feel nothing but coldness.
LinkPull my tail...

Cookies [Apr. 3rd, 2007|02:00 pm]
I wanted spaghetti for breakfast, but I forgot the paper towel and so I had to take a few extra minutes to clean the orange oil splatters on the sides of the microwave.

I needed tea, of course. Sweet tea. I make it like liquid sugar. The white granules fall into the pitcher like an hour glass. Maybe an hour has passed. I didn't notice.

I see impressions on the sheet of paper in front of me. They are the ghosts of inspiration that I had in the past. They are dead now, but their spirits are trapped behind these blue bars. I would set them free, but I do not have the key. Even if I had the key, I cannot locate the lock.

Poets are able to make mundane moments memorable. I'm not talented enough to have this kind of writer's block. Sylvia Plath, maybe, but not me. I heard when she was uninspired, she had decided to make chocolate chip cookies. Maybe that's not such a bad idea.

The open oven door gapes at me, as though it cannot even believe that I would have the audacity to attempt this feat of writing. The tea maker percolates. If only the flow of inspiration could come to me like that. Even if I couldn't get a pitcher of it, I would settle for little brown drips.

The clock beside me is crooked. I pull it and it unsticks from the freshly painted wall.

I look at it now at its equilibrium. At least I was able to do something today.
LinkPull my tail...

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