Posts Tagged ‘verse’

The Dinner. A satire

Posted: March 25, 2023 in Chat
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The dining room dimly lit
only table and guests illuminated;

the servers encircle in darkness
awaiting the call to commence.

Conversations flow, then break;
laughters explode, cackle,

gutter, die; then other groups,
a break-out of noise, follow suit

and another, another:
obligated laughter, on cue 

A General – Just you, alone? –
unperturbed lifts fine meat from bone,

an epicure’s precision, while finishing
a witty aside.

                         His sleeve
catches on cuff-link, reveals

woad beneath clothes; then covered.
His wife’s bone necklace greatly admired

(Are they… real? 
A solicitous wheedle, 

but required).

The premier slow smiles, 
observing his Head of Security’s 
discomfort under scrutiny.

A glint of honed incisors, tongue-relish. 

Guests applaud some quip, 
then glutted, glow at him. He sips,

having perfected the mysterium
of pose and suggestion

to cover cold threat, his wide

His taxidermist is waiting tables; 

his neat, gloved hands… name-labels.
‘The poor material I get…’ 

his neat teeth, set
smile, hiding status-worries; 

‘- Shot-up, broken bodies, 
for game trophies?’

A craftsman, 
only for as long as the customer 
is satisfied.

It was necessary for us to believe
a man bent spoons by stroking, caressing
their slender necks until they swooned.

They were practical times, ordered,
so not even a smidgen of use was best.
Sex was all that remained of religion.

Changeable times hammered out reasons,
salt facts, iron-bound arguments, 
to protect against more outrageous acts.

Theory ran on, outside our closed system
beyond the solar pull of money, markets.
We await its messages from the stars.

This morning has gone on forever;
we’re not ready yet, or had lunch.
There’s so much to do before bed.

Avant se coucher

Il nous fallait croire
un homme a plié des cuillères en caressant, en caressant
leurs cous fins jusqu’à ce qu’ils se pamer.

C’étaient des temps pratiques, ordonnés,
donc même pas un peu d’utilisation était le mieux.
Le sexe était tout ce qui restait de la religion.

Les temps changeants martelaient les raisons,
faits salés, arguments de fer,
pour se protéger contre des actes plus scandaleux.

La théorie a fonctionné, en dehors de notre système fermé
au-delà de l’attraction solaire de l’argent, les marchés.
Nous attendons ses messages des étoiles.

Ce matin a duré une éternité;
nous ne sommes pas encore prêts ou nous avons déjeuné.
Il y a tant à faire avant de se coucher.

prima a andare di a letto

Abbiamo ritenuto necessario crederci
un uomo piegava i cucchiai accarezzando, accarezzando
i loro colli sottili fino a svenuto.

Erano tempi pratici, ordinati,
quindi nemmeno un briciolo di utilizzo era il migliore.
Il sesso era tutto ciò che restava della religione.

I tempi mutevoli forgiarono ragioni,
fatti salini, argomentazioni ferree,
per proteggersi da atti più oltraggiosi.

La teoria è andata avanti, al di fuori del nostro sistema chiuso
oltre l’attrazione solare del denaro, i mercati.
Attendiamo i suoi messaggi dalle stelle.

Questa mattina di lunga durata ;
non siamo ancora pronti o abbiamo pranzato.
C’è così tanto da fare prima di andare a letto.

Vor dem Schlafengehen

Wir fanden es notwendig zu glauben
ein mann verbogen löffel durch streicheln, liebkosen
ihre schlanken Hälse, bis sie Ohnmacht.

Es waren praktische Zeiten, bestellt,
also war nicht einmal ein Hauch von Gebrauch am besten.
Sex war alles, was von der Religion übrig blieb.

Wechselhafte Zeiten hämmerten Gründe heraus,
Salzfakten, eiserne Argumente,
um sich vor noch schlimmeren Taten zu schützen.

Die Theorie lief weiter, außerhalb unseres geschlossenen Systems
Jenseits der Sonnenanziehungskraft des Geldes, der Märkte.
Wir erwarten seine Botschaften von den Sternen.

Dieser Morgen hat ewig gedauert;
Wir sind noch nicht fertig oder haben zu Mittag gegessen.
Vor dem Schlafengehen gibt es so viel zu tun.

We vonden het nodig om te geloven
een man boog lepels door te strelen, te strelen
hun slanke nekken tot ze in zwijm vielen.

Het waren praktische tijden, geordend,
dus niet eens een smidgen van gebruik was het beste.
Seks was het enige dat overbleef van religie.

Veranderlijke tijden hamerden op redenen,
zoutfeiten, ijzersterke argumenten,
te beschermen tegen meer buitensporige daden.

Theorie liep door, buiten ons gesloten systeem
voorbij de zonne-aantrekkingskracht van geld, markten.
We wachten op de berichten van de sterren.

Deze ochtend is voor altijd voorbijgegaan;
we zijn nog niet klaar, of hebben geluncht.
Er is zoveel te doen voor het slapengaan.

Experiments in translation 2

Posted: April 19, 2022 in Chat
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Schrödinger’s Cat

The black cat of space
closes its eyes to sleep
and the last stars go out

The cat wakes, stretches
and its with nails prick holes in space
new stars shine through 

le chat noir de l’espace
ferme les yeux pour dormir
et les dernières étoiles s’éteignent

Le chat se réveille, s’étire
et ses clous piquent des trous dans l’espace
de nouvelles étoiles brillent à travers

lo spazio è un gatto nero
chiude gli occhi per dormire
e le ultime stelle muoiono

il gatto si sveglia, si allunga,
le sue unghie perforano buchi nell’oscurità
le nuove stelle sono nate

el espacio es un gato negro
cierra los ojos para dormir
y las ultimas estrellas mueren

el gato se despierta, se estira,
sus uñas perforan agujeros en el negro
nacen las nuevas estrellas


Posted: February 11, 2022 in Chat
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Corduroy talks as you walk
and raincoats sing
as arms swing; the shush
soft-brush snares of wet shoes
swiping through evening slush.

Yes, and hear your breathing hold
and release, and the steady bass
in your throat on the up-hill
you’re all jazz tonight!

Let it play; and how the spray
of oxygen in your blood floods
and energises carburretor
piston and crank.

Uphill is a tango, between 
unused muscles, and excitement.

You are the evening cabaret.

                                                                                                                      for Karl Wittfogel
The editor has laid me out wrong. 
These clothes don’t suit. Maybe it is I 
who started out wrong, this practical 
all-purpose style the result.

‘Dear Caesar,’ I wrote, ‘the locals 
bade me welcome.’ But exasperate. 
‘Dear Caesar, to bring down water
to the town needs engineers, surveyors.’ 
‘Local men,’ you said. ‘use them.’ 
But the local men exasperate. 

‘Dear Caesar,’ I wrote, ‘the engineer
said it cannot be done. I don’t 
believe him; if you send your best, 
then we’ll show him.’ Dear Caesar… 
this heat, these flies, it dries the wit
from my tongue, leaves only phlegm, 
so now my grand orations are more 
‘ahem’ than sound persuasion. 

I feel, dear Caesar, they mock my person
more than honour it. Locals; 
I loathe them.

When Vesuvius blew, my uncle 
sailed to its beleaguered towns. 
‘No matter for panic.’ he said. 
‘I’m here.’ But no, they would have it 
their way. What huge revenues 
they lost you, Caesar. 
Later you wrote, ‘Your concerns 
do you credit. Your work is good. 
Keep doing it.’ So, may I yet 
sup in your presence
                                  dear Caesar?

What Was It?

Posted: February 24, 2020 in John Stammers Page
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‘Venetian ‘merchants’, besieging Athens’
their artillery scoring Acropolis hits. 
Imagine it.
we were always good at that.
Commerce and culture, ‘Bean-counters, 
and creators, makers.
Both bear our scrutiny.

How these thin columns hold their lintel
of argument. The frieze of warriors
that overlays bare stone, chisel marks,
the industries of art – overlaying
the sophist’s forgotten blind alleys,
with only the successful, useful

                    What was my argument, again?
I forget, my concentration overlaid 
by an artillery of marketing 
and contemporary concerns, moments.


Posted: January 3, 2020 in Chat
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Each day’s like a chain that hangs from its cloud.
Tuesday was clumsy, loose, not reaching ground;
today is fine-spun, hall-marked, many linked –
each link frames a dimension of life.

Broken chains are dangerous, lash out
whenever air stirs, clouds mass, trees bend,
and no storm breaks. How many died, do you think,
their lost days clashing overhead?

These chains connect us, we would not be
without them. They themselves could be
the finest spun, glinting, and delicate.

But they are not.

Dead Bee

Posted: October 20, 2019 in Chat
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Dead bee. Another nail.

What did you do? What
did you do?
from the future.

You’ll know –
you are a part of us,
do what we do.

We’d never do that!

Get off your high horse. If not
this, then something else.
Blind spots. Greed and grab.

Speak to us.

What happened here, brother?
– Don’t try to answer, nothing
can heal this.
We have not done what you did

It was already part done.

We were stretching a hand up;
no one reached down.
We are all there is, and busy
with short-term, living now,
and not seeing how huge now is,
and how always.
You’d recognise this.

What is a horse?
they said.

Upside Down Song

Posted: September 30, 2018 in Chat
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I put my fist to the sky
and I left it there
I took a fist to the day
wished I wasn’t there
I took a fist to the face
of everything that would break
and everything that would break broke
so I took a fist to me.

I took a course in hatred
and passed top grade
I took a course in mechanics
to unmake the world
I took a course in religion, bigotry
anything that’d further me
and everything that furthered me stranded me
so I took a spanner to me.

I changed the colour of my skin
to learn hating and hatred
I changed gender, attraction
to learn centuries of oppression
I changed everything about me
to learn how to be someone
who has constantly to change to fit in
with someone like me.

I was born hungry like this
I cursed my fate, cursed it
I was born disappointed, unsatisfied
I thought this the worst, this
I was born restless, would never give in
it kept me going when everything failed
I was born with a dynamo
a bad one.





Sorry Mister

Posted: August 12, 2018 in Chat
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We broke the door of the weather
Sorry mister, we were just playin wiv our toys
loved the stink of the engines, the endless noise
then everyone wanted one, girls as well as boys
sorry mister

We lost the instructions on caring for each other
Sorry mister. The dog ate it; laptop crashed; it was there
then wasn’t. We rounded up what we knew, made a square
couldn’t remember if that’s what was meant, or where.
Sorry mister.