Thursday, May 14, 2009

Day 12 - World Enough and Time

Hello everyone. I think today and yesterday have been the most enjoyable I have had so far in working on this poem. Maybe because the stanzas felt so easy to write.

Prosodically speaking, I think they are both rather weak in terms of metaphor and sensual imagery. And the verbs are as bald and uninteresting as my head. But I think there is potential here, and, in the final draft of the poem, I will probably come back and correct things. For now, just to stay on schedule, I will publish thing as they are.

Today's posting title is taken from Andrew Marvell's poem,
"To His Coy Mistress," which, after King Lear, and Nabokov's Pale Fire and Lolita, may be my favorite piece of literature. It certainly is my favorite poem. The final stanza is--well, what can one say--res ipsa loquitur.

Now therefore, while the youthful hue
Sits on thy skin like morning dew,
And while thy willing soul transpires
At every pore with instant fires,
Now let us sport us while we may;
And now, like am'rous birds of prey,
Rather at once our time devour,
Than languish in his slow-chapp'd power.
Let us roll all our strength, and all
Our sweetness, up into one ball;
And tear our pleasures with rough strife
Thorough the iron gates of life.
Thus, though we cannot make our sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run.

My much inferior thoughts follow this...

Takaaki entered my life as a leopard
Belt being unbuckled at the Y.
We hardly had exchanged a single word
Apart from that perfunctory, “Hi,”
One naturally nods when in the shower—
Never letting eyes fall any lower
Than chin, if necessary, collarbone,
Carefully leaving ‘well enough’ alone—
Lest anything unseemly rise to blur
The steely line of bubbles separating
Really clean from curious—creating
Questions about conditioners, and whether
Grapefruit is a proper manly scent—
Even in a Thought Experiment.

I was hooked by how that feline belt
Crept through the four tight loops above his rear;
It filled me with four-letter words, which spelt,
“Don’t ruin your Moon trip.” A very weird
Injunction—poetic, maybe—but it
Bears no relation to immediate
Concerns here, in a crowded locker room:
A cave as old and moldy as the tomb
Where Friar Lawrence has Romeo meet
Juliet, when that poison intervenes,
Crossing out the dancing in those scenes.
I sprinkled fungal powder on my feet,
Discretely. As my fairy dust descended,
I wondered if his buckle was befriended

By anything besides his fingertips.
I could, of course, conceive of other suitors—
A bedroom floor, those pant hangers with clips
Coated in red rubber, folding doors
With tiny metal doorknobs—all of this
I could conceive—nor was it my business
Where, after leaving his seductive waist,
His buckle might intend to hang, how chaste
These new companions, if they drank, or stank
Of soiled underwear, or socks, or hold
Silk stockings with more reverence, or cold
Hands in handcuffs, or dead cats. I thank
The Lord the neckties on my closet hook
Will never show up in a tell-all book—

Zip, the leopard softly disappears,
Around the narrow bend formed by his hips.
A guy I know spent thirty thousand years
On hips, neglecting to Chapstick his lips;
So long, he worked, his mouth dissolved to dust,
Before he could express his love. Or lust.
I trust, the stupid use he made of Time
Will not be copied in your life. Or mine.
With fifty-odd lines written on a waist,
A belt, belt loops, belt buckle, and no ass,
You might suppose your humble Author has
Lost you, Takaaki, and his mind. In case
That’s what you think, permit me now to state,
While you’ve been reading, we’ve been on a date.

Around a core of elevators set
A dozen picture windows in concrete,
Crumbly as the Parthenon; and let
Your panorama rise in Brooklyn, greet
The Empire State, behind a candle (where
I am sitting, in a sticky chair),
While your eye continues travelling
Along the glass, skyscrapers unravelling,
Until the silver tip of the Chrysler Build-
-ing rises from Lexington Avenue,
Piercing a fine mist—coppery in hue.
Now let this scintillating mural fill
The space before your eyes: that is New York.
Here, I transfix a carrot with a fork.

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