Friday, July 07, 2006

Misadventures & Homoerotic Poetry

Two of my friends have passed judgment on the photograph. One says, "You're not as hideous as me," and the other says, "Handsome, in a classical 18th century style." Here I am, hours later, and I still haven't gotten all the wax off my keyboard. The lighting in that photo is candlelight. My actual purpose was to try and photograph the candles in an artistic way, thinking that if it turned out decent, I would use it as the cover for Fire Pearls. It didn't, and I won't.

I also developed a pet peeve: Software that tries to read my mind and fails. Hell, not even my own mother knows what I'm thinking! How could software outsmart my mother? And so I committed the rather embarassing faux pas of sending some homoerotic poetry to a tanka e-list that I meant to send to a different recipient. *BLUSH* Fortunately, I have not figured out how to competently write truly hot tanka, so the poems were relatively tame. As opposed to my imagination which isn't tame at all!

Long, long ago, a wise old leatherman taught me the secret of sexuality. He pointed to his head and said, "If you're not turned on up here," he pointed to his lower head, "It doesn't matter what's going on down here." Amen, brother. The brain is the only sex organ.

Having embarassed myself by posting six homoerotic tanka where others could read, I figured I might as well post them here, too. Better to be hanged as a wolf than a sheep, I always say. A word of warning, although tanka are often autobiographical, not all of these are. Some of them are complete fiction, but all of them half true.

a man
with tangled hair
is a rare thing, but
that is because
I am a rare lover

After we make love,
I spend the night staring
at the mountain of his shoulder
and the darkness of his skin,
hating his wife.

Male colors...
yellow and brown,
legs and arms entwined,
and the rumble of his sleep
through the winter’s night.

I show him how much
I love and desire him --
then he goes home to her.
I want to hammer nails
through both of them.

He answers, “Hello?”
and I nearly drop the phone
at the sexy sound of his baritone.
Would it be so wrong
to seduce my friend’s husband?

Sneak up dancer,
deer toes around your ankles,
hairpipes around your throat,
copper skin flashing,
you dance the Red Road.

NB. 'Sneak Up Dance,' one of the oldest traditional Native American dances.

An admirable man, the captain,
able, honorable, and reliable --
handsome, too,
although that doesn’t matter
to the wind.

I'm also exceptionally bored this evening, which is something you will rarely hear me admit. In my opinion, bored people are boring people. I really don't see how anyone with a brain could ever be bored. Nothing to do? Use your head! Therefore, in my search for socialization and amusement, I decided to update my profile and go blog reading. Now I have a new pet peeve: People who create blogs, post once, and disappear. Collateral peeve: Blog software that claims a person has made 'recent' posts to their blog when they haven't posted since 2004. Exactly what is blogspot's definition of 'recent?'

I also noticed that people look at my profile, but they don't post comments. This must mean I have either overawed them with my brilliance, or they decided cleaning the catbox was more fun. Talk to me, people! It's a blog! Use the comment feature!

Just don't spam me with ads for porn, diploma mills, stock of questionable merits, Viagra, cures for hair loss, or any other junk. My imagination is sexier than your porn, I already have my diploma, I'm too damned poor to buy stock, I don't need Viagra, I have a full head of hair, and I have a lifetime supply of junk. In short, whatever you're selling, I don't need it.


I hate having my picture taken, but people keep asking me if I have a picture, so here it is. I know zilch about photography so I couldn't figure out how to upload it to my profile.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Modern English Tanka

Modern English Tanka , the new print and web journal from Denis M. Garrison, has posted my article, '11 Good Kyoka: Experiments in English.' I am curious to see the reactions. In addition, the MET has also published 18 of my tanka and kyoka, which is very gratifying.

Here are just two of the poems from that selection. If you want to read them all, follow the link to the MET.

the dowager houses
stand primly in their ragged porches
looking embarrassed
as ladies do
in such circumstances

~M. Kei

'Dowager houses' was written on a trip to Port Deposit, Maryland. I've shown the poem to some people around here and who know the town and they recognized the truthfulness of the picture. The phrase 'dowager house' really does describe these grand old dames fallen on hard times.

Give me the heart
of an old chief
and I’ll make it
young again,
dancing on the Red Road.

~M. Kei

'Give me the heart of an old chief' was written while remembering when I learned how to do Sneak Up Dance from an extremely fine sneak up dancer. It was a hot afternoon at the Assateague powwow and hardly anybody was around, just me and the headman dancer. He called for a sneak up dance and I had to admit that I had never done it. He looked at me and said, "You're dressed right," and, "Just follow along with me." (I was dressed as a men's traditional dancer, as usual. No fancydancing for these creaky old bones!) There was a boy there who was nervous because it was his first time dancing in the arena, and so, with the wisdom born of thirty seconds greater knowledge than his, assured him, "Just follow the headman dancer and do what he does." And then a Dog Soldier arrived, and admitted he didn't know how to do a sneak up dance, either. Feeling quite the experienced old man at this point, I assured him as well, "Just do what Charlie does."

With that inauspicious beginning, the drum began to play. The basic step is the same: it's the Indian Two Step which is the foundation of most traditional dancese. It varies with bending low as the hunter pantomimes cutting for sign, then short runs as he pursues his quarry, then upright dancing as he lifts his dance staff to Heaven and whoops his thanks to Creator above for success. Usually every dancer does his own thing, acting out his personal story, and in competitions, are judged individually. We all follow Charlie, and swiftly a rapport grew amongst us. Charlie was our chieftain and we his hunting party, following his leadership, fanning out to search the ground, but working together. The synergy was incredible.

And suddenly... old men who had been sluggish in the heat and humidity suddenly popped upright and leaped into the arena to follow Charlie Running Eagle. At least a dozen of us formed his hunting party, each doing his own part as part of the larger whole. The veil of time parted and we were dancing with all the Native men of the past and future who have ever followed or ever would follow the hunting trail.

And so this poem about dancing the hearts of old chiefs, it is a song about the goodness of the Red Road -- the road of tradition and righteousness. It runs from north to south, and it brings all good things. The elders say that if a man has a wicked thing in his heart and he dances, the wicked thing cannot stay but is cleaned from his body. Therefore, a man who makes a habit of dancing cannot have any evil in him. A man who refuses to dance is therefore viewed with suspicion. Dancing cures everything that ails a man.