Monday, November 05, 2012


I found this in an old email the other day--I wrote it for a friend a few years ago. It's not good, of course, but I'm still fond of it. And ***, too, for the record.

Étude, for ***
after T. S. Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

Da questo passo vinto mi concedo
più che già mai da punto di suo tema
soprato fosse comico o tragedo:

ché, come sole in viso che più trema,
così lo rimembrar del dolce riso
la mente mia da me medesmo scema.*

I wonder at the star
You swallowed:
Blue as a bleached shell,
Potent as a strawberry,
Maybe lost in a hepatic well
Or fabled jugular gulley,
But probably placed centrally,
Embedded, I’ve supposed, in cardiac pith.
No myth,
This cellular sidereal coincidence,
For what else explains the wake of hope,
Obsequious, swirled,
The future tense
Frosting a world
That only knew how to be?

Such a legacy,
And you pass.

These days, the urge comes with guilt –
So despicably male and crass –
To mold you into a ball,
To clamp it close (and safe), light and all.
Then who’s to say
With one ear pressed
I shouldn’t hear within your breast
The religious thrum,
The rippling orbit, the secret hum –
Even triste et beau
The shred of a something
That wetly washed over the snow
When He made the first spring day?
(When two lovers shameless laughed and ran
And buttressed each other;
And time began.)

I wonder at the soft of your skin,
Waxy as molten glass,
Tender as a moth’s abdomen:
How a touch might blow you
Into a suspension of sand,
Or prod you into a sun,
Where the nebular dust pounds itself to become one.

(It is a wonder that a mere spherical form
Has afterthoughts so powerful
It keeps worlds warm.)

So I’ve thought at this – I’ve guessed at more:
I’ve watched the light seep up the floor.
(There is a lozenge-shaped hole in the door.)
Things appear in light, and light takes time.
The fact lingers behind.

Only in sleep can a mind meet a mind.

How fine the turf!  Translucent, semiotic.
How cordial comes the wind, abaft.
How forever the landscapes in dreams…
Remember our running?
Starlight poured from your seams.

* Dante Alighieri, Paradiso.

Vanquished do I confess me by this passage 

More than by problem of his theme was ever 

O'ercome the comic or the tragic poet;

For as the sun the sight that trembles most, 

Even so the memory of that sweet smile 
My mind depriveth of its very self.

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