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. 


The Marble Man

A poem wrote over the summer of 2008, about the same gentleman who inspired “Kalopsia”. Note the difference in tone:

One algid day embraced within the arms of purification,
Held tight against incessant blows of winter’s flagellations,
I roused myself from uneased dreams and found myself imprisoned,
But the crowning of the nascent dawn brought with its light a vision.

A man sat there before me, his visage hewn of stone,
And beckoned me to sit before his gem-encrusted throne.
His marmoreal face ingrained– ’twas beautiful in spite
Of the sightless eyes and turgid form that would strike most with fright.

He took me in his frigid arms and in my ear he whispered
Words no mouth of stone could form; they’d lain so long sequestered
And now like water did they flow from in his marble maw,
Their tenderness of such surprise to leave me still in awe.

Once the flow of poetry had staunched from ‘twixt his lips,
And the hope inspired by his words had all my fear eclipsed,
Tears stung my eyes, and from my cheeks I let the crystals fall
In unison with laboured words; he would have me tell all.

When my pained soliloquy drew to a morbid close,
I waited for his anodyne response to bring repose.
But silent did the man remain, his face ever so still.
The panacea ne’er came forth to cure me of my ills.