My poem, “A Brief History of Babel,” is up at Bonnie McClellan’s International Poetry Month Celebration


My poem, “A Brief History of Babel,” is up at Bonnie McClellan’s International Poetry Month Celebration. She’ll be presenting 28 poems following this year’s theme of “Neural Networks: The Creative Power of Language.” It’s going to be a fun, interesting month.

31 thoughts on “My poem, “A Brief History of Babel,” is up at Bonnie McClellan’s International Poetry Month Celebration

  1. I love your reflection on “higashi.” Its earliest incarnation as Chinese oracle bone script for a ‘bag tied at both ends’… eventually becoming ‘east’ in Japan… there is something numinous about it… like there is some kind of ethereal Asiatic essence contained in the East/bag, out of which rises the Sun herself. Why am I not surprised it would be you to open up this quality in higashi?!!

    As always you are ten miles ahead of the nearest poet!!

    Liked by 1 person

      • Honestly? I think it is good for a poet to “know of” things but in many cases not be versed in them. Physicists tell us what electrons are, poets tell us how they feel! Personally, I have always loved how ‘higashi’ looks like a lamp, shining out to the West (Europe).

        The character “ran” has stayed with me for many years. Technically meaning “turbulence” in English, its implication(s) of emotional upheaval and/or unpredictable air current activity in flying both having poetic significance to me. Besides, who can forget how perfectly Kurosawa crafted the movie RAN, mixing Shakespeare and Mouri Motonari’s legacy into one fantastic movie?

        But if I had to choose a direction then “west” would be my favorite, as in “Kansai 関西…The Western Gate/Barrier…. Western Japan (Nara, Kyoto, Osaka, Amagasaki, Kobe, Himeji). I love how “barrier” comes into play if you consider that the major cities of the Kansai region, as listed above begin with Nara, where the Sox Schools of Buddhism became sects, then you reach Kyoto where Buddhism, Imperialism, and the arts became “national”, then Osaka and Kobe where the common folk drank and sang, and the GUTAI blew open the minds of the art world… bookended by the “white heron” of Himeji Castle: the protector of territory… where old Okiku despondently counts dishes down in the well.

        I feel vert proud to be an adopted son of Kansai…VERY f**King proud… desu ne!!

        Liked by 1 person

            • The Six Schools were not even organized sects yet… so imagine how amazing it would have been to listen in on their internal/external debates. Soul vs. no soul… pain vs. suffering… what an powerful time to be alive in Nihon!

              As for baseball, I have never ever liked it, BUT you HAVEN’T gone to a baseball game until you have been to a Hanshin Tigers game, or indeed any japanese baseball game. Thousands of fans chanting, clacking plastic clackers, cheering continuously, even after the game is over Hanshin fans will still be in the stands chanting and cheering for at least a half an hour… even if the team has lost (which they usually do!). There is no better fan than a Japanese baseball fan in Kansai., not to mention the millions of people sitting at their kotatsu having a beer and a smoke watching it all on TV.

              It has been elevated to an art form in Japan: the kotatsu/beer/smoking/food experience while watching either sumo or baseball. Especially sumo, as most people don;t realize a single day of a sumo tournament is hours long and thus you can develop an elaborate “schedule” that goes along with the proceedings, especially when you know even the minor athletes. “So-and-so is coming up in 35 minutes so that means it’s time for the first glass of the ume-shu!” or “Ahh… *Kotonishiki is on deck… time for zarusoba!”

              *How is that for an outdated reference!? 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.