Category Archives: Poetry

Aside

“If you can’t be with the Nucleotide you want, cohere with the one you’re with.”–Eddie Murphy Advertisements

Blog Spelling: A Question of Grammar, Spelling, and the Tyranny of Convention

Why is it that Blogger is spelled with two “g’s”, but Blogosphere is spelled with only one? Though I am a writer, grammar and spelling have always been my weak points (thank you open-office). I’ve always felt more like an orator who writes down his oratory, than a quiet writer who thinks more in the written word than the spoken word. [You know the type, they learned all of their vocabulary through reading, rather than listening, and as such, they mispronounce words all the time (the spoken version of a mispelling).]

Blogging (two g’s) may be a good fit for a guy like me. But, if I’ve got problems with the spellings of old words, then the new ones are all out alien.

Grammar is a distinctly relative affair as it is. Shakespeare made up all his own spelling, grammar, and even a large number of the words themselves. (He was hooked on “Phonics”, I guess.) Unlike the rules of Mathematics, there are little in the way of objective, provable reasons for most grammatical rules, which is likely why they keep changing. Like how often are you supposed to use comma’s … ellipses … why did we decide that a possessive apostrophe goes on the outside rather than the inside on some words, but goes on the inside on others? Is the distinction all that important to a readers understanding? Or is context fine? Context is clearly fine in other cases.

We differentiate the spelling of words like write and right when we’re writing, but is it important? We don’t do that when we’re talking. And I don’t often confuse them in speech. Do you?

English writers are constantly berated if they engage in the elementary mistake of the “run on sentence”, but, Italian writing (and the writing of James Joyce for that matter) is made up of nothing but and their writing is often rather fantastic, full of adjectives and explorations of a singular topic expounded upon deeply with metaphor and symbolism.

German has ridiculously long compound words, we have some in English, but most romance languages have very little. Which language got it right? Is there such a thing as right at all? Can we really have a dogmatic Church of Grammar and Spelling in a modern pluralized world where languages and emails are flowing so freely? Do we secretly want to be France, and instate a Ministry of the English Language?

I don’t. So, if I spell Bloggosphere with 2 g’s, and bloging with 1, I won’t die of a heart attack. Will you?

(notice I tagged this under a number of headings that may not have anything to do with spelling, as I’m not sure how to categorize this strange little post.)

Poem of the Day: Look

This poem is called, “Look.” And is from my book, “On The Bestial Floor.”

Look

© Copyright 2007, Saij

 

 

 

the shadow in

a folded leaf

holding wine

 

 

red burgundy

blood

sparrow made

 

 

centuries in the making

bastard child

the forest

 

 

crumpling in time

under pressure

of chainsaws

 

 

mud pits

grass growing

reeds

 

 

in concrete cracks

i can see them

and they mock me

 

 

gusts of wind

i watch

carrying mist

 

 

sever and rob

blowing dust

in my face

Aside

All are keen To Know Who’ll Sleep with blond Aideen All Aideen herself will own Is that she will not sleep alone —Anonymous Medieval Irish Scribe (gleaned from the book, “How The Irish Saved Civilization” by Thomas Cahill).  Apparently this … Continue reading

Poem of the Day: Villanelle, or: Study of Terza Rima

 This Poem is one I wrote as a study of a particular pair of forms called the Villanelle and Terza Rima.  It doesn’t follow the forms exactly but uses them as a jumping off point.  Terza Rima was first used by Dante in his Devine Comedia.

This poem is from my recent book, “On the Bestial Floor.

Villanelle, or: Study of Terza Rima
(c) Copyright 2007,  Saij

East of sleep and dreams,
the dim coming times,
like a sea that brooks no means.

Carve’n dreamer fell,
hung like sweating leaves,
drip down the garden well.

The peddles feast and descend,
they walk a show and tell,
where the sand and sea have hardened.

Of these, and of the age,
I’m here to play the warden,
where bursting tears splay the cage.

And on a silent singing thread
we shadowed ‘cross the stage,
where sea-born fingers bled.

I stood in wait like marbled beast,
and woke here in my bed,
leaving dreams that wander east
and sink in salted ocean feast

A Study of Tundra, Poem by Saij

A Study of Tundra poem by Saij

A Study of Tundra

(c) Copyright 2007, by Saij

 

Some will give birth within days

and I will cut open their bellies and let it run

over the table like a draining glacier in the desert

 

 

 

 

And others alone will do as well with their wombs

and let the offspring wander

ever deeper into the dark-white

 

 

 

 

And the sound sucked back

like the inhale of some beast preempting its’ roar

will be left rattling in the air forever

 

 

On the bestial floor, poems by saij
My new book of poetry, “On The Bestial Floor” is available here.

A Poem From Iraq

A reader of The Daily Dish, the Blog of Andrew Sullivan (a man who’s idea’s I steal from constantly), wrote him this letter:

I’m in the Marine Corps. I just returned home from seven months in Anbar Province. I’m deploying again in April. There’s a girl I want to marry, but I can’t. Out of 18 months, I will have spent a mere 6 at home. I can’t marry her, because I’m never here. She’ll probably leave me because of this surge, and it’s not her fault.

I’m not unique. What I mean to say is this – the nation at large has no idea what we’re going through. I go surfing in the mornings, and I see all these teenagers with shrapnel scars and grim faces. We’re all damaged.

So I wrote a poem this morning. Because I’m angry and I want it to be real to people who argue about it but have no idea what it’s all about. Read this. Does it make sense to you? Do you understand?

Fucker

They heard it twice; bombs do that when they crack
across the dunes, a groan chasing a clap
In the desert, where blue eyed boys in armor
listen, pink faced, to the wind and know
It’s the sound of someone dying when they
see the truck all mangled on the roadside
The thin man all blown to pieces inside
and, for a heartbeat, feel, because maybe
He was just an old man, driving home but
they see the next bomb with him meant for some
Pot-hole, dead goat, trash pile, old car, young man –
deadly, they know, like their dead friends, and now
They don’t shrink from saying to him, “Fucker,”
they say, “The first rule is, fucker, be sure
Where you put the last one, fucker.” Laughing
without pity for him who is scattered
Bloody around the boys who die now too
because they aren’t repulsed by the sight of
This thing, anymore, that they’ll take home, thinking
of the day when they scolded a corpse

Not only is this letter poigniant, but it is also a very good Poem in it’s own right. For me to say that is something, as I hate almost everything to do with “modern” neo-Beat poetry.

But this is something real, written by a man with real talent, a real eye for what is happening, and the VERY rare ability to translate that reality into a lasting work of art.

I reprinted it here for two reasons then. To highlight how visceral this war, and the new Surge, is to the American Soldier and their families (and hoped-for families). And to highlight what I see as a solid work in a field drowned by crap.

I don’t know this man, but he knows us.