The Anti-Somonka

A somonka is a Japanese poetic form that consists of two tankas, ostensibly by two separate authors, written as love letters. Given that my romantic life has been somewhat tumultuous, and  that none of the guys (or girls) I have dated had an appreciation for poetry, I decided that I would take this form and give it a kick in the cunt.

The anti-somonka is an American poetic form that I invented about ten minutes ago. It consists of two tankas, written from the perspective of different speakers. The first tanka is an expression of agonized, embittered, perhaps delusional, but undeniably unrequited love. The second tanka is a callous rejection of the initial speaker by his or her beloved. Here is my attempt:



This November son
Smiles coldly down upon me,
Nigh unreachable –
A flame-bright Beatrice
To my poet in extremis.

Your gilt-lettered words
Anoint my head, drowning me
In symbolism
Rife with complexity dense
Enough to smother the heart.


Note that I used the Italian pronunciation of “Beatrice” in order to make the syllable count. I am a filthy cheater.

This innovative new form could be employed as a creative, albeit profoundly dickish, sort of “Dear John”. Lull your significant other into a false sense of security by playfully suggesting you write a somonka together. Allow them to write the first tanka, and then use your response to dash all of their hopes and dreams – and, please, put the resulting masterpiece in the comments.