Maybe one of my most thought out compositions, this one is mostly surreal, in the style of the elder french poets. It drawns purely from existentialism and it can be somewhat complicated to unravel, so if you have any questions, just pop em up.


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(Disregard the graphic elements, I was trying these out on paper and then tried to replicate them here)


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A tick clinging to the bristles of a purple boar.

12 thoughts on “YANGTZE”

  1. the third stanza of part two is especially vivid. i particularly enjoy the syntax of the first line: “Verse this taste, so good…hurting this much, so crude…” part three is visually engaging as well and the voice of the river so melancholy. i love that.
    and the ellipses, i’ve not seen you use them in your other poetry (although i most certainly could have missed poems in which you’ve used them). i love using ellipses in informal prose, but have never used them in poetry; what do they mean for you in this particular piece?
    these poems are so emotional–beautifully done as usual, johnny!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. M, it’s so nice to catch you. We should really exchange some emails soon, I would love to befriend you beyond the distance of poetry.

      Thank you thank you.
      My usage of elipses is very rare, mostly because I don’t believe they represent fully what I mean when I add them, but they are as close as it gets.
      From an artistic standpoint: they showcase exasperation, in my mind. When I read them aloud, it allows me to decline the codic forms of the last syllables of each verse, almost as a pan-out in cinema, it becomes fainter… and fainter… until it dissipates… (I’m weirdly theatrical in real life)
      From an academic structural standpoint: they can be excellent devices to create small bridges within a stanza without necessarily rupturing the stanza itself. In the case of the third stanza (second part), I did not want to divide the stanza but simultaneously, the verses themselves wouldn’t fully connect with regular commas, nor did I intended them to.
      These are rare thorns among my poetics so I’m glad someone catches onto them, you are a delight.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. yes indeed, johnny, it would be interesting to chat on all manner of things.
        thanks for your perspective on ellipses; i can see how they add a dramatic flair to the poetry, as well as their usefulness in bridging thoughts/phrases.
        oh, and by the way, i’ve been working on a rhyming/”metered” piece (metered might be a stretch, but the rhythm feels pretty good). still working out the kinks and need to bring it to a close, but it will be up soon. i hope you’ll read it!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Have you read any of the ancient Chinese, Korean, or Japanese poets? If not – DO! Some of these feels are very much regional to the Yangtze Valley (have you been? I’ve not yet!), and yet the emotional assessments/value assumptions are very European ways of judging those feelings. Fascinating. Beautiful As always, Butterfly Brother. ( I call you this because your words flit through the air in seemingly haphazard ways in this piece, and yet, as you noted, it’s also extraordinarily ordered as well.)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, in fact, one of my lifelong dreams has been to improve my chinese caligraphy (I can somewhat write in Mandarin, but only very basic phrases).
      When I was about 15, I read Simon Heyes Essay on China, and the tales of the Orchid Pavillion filled my eyes with tears, similar to how I reacted when I first heard Alexandria was burnt to the ground along with thousand of years of lyricism. The Orchid Pavillion withstood only barely, and Mao Zedong is credited with a lot of it’s cultural heritage disappearing.
      One day, I intend on attempting to attune with those gardens, and perhaps write beautiful simple poetry in Chinese. Until then, English, Portuguese and Spanish will have to do!
      (And yes, I’ve been to The Long River, specifically along it’s Chongkinq margins)
      Thank you so much Toad (or GV – Wah Do, if I remember correctly)

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Lucky duck. I soaked up South Korea as a child. I understand. I miss it with a homesickness I have yet to feel for anywhere else I’ve lived. For the deep history and so much else.

        I thought you were a brother of mine. I was right. You know.

        Liked by 2 people

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