15 April 2007

Tristan Corbiere

To Mount Aetna

Sicelides Musae, paulo majora canamus
                                            — Virgil

Aetna — I've been up Vesuvius . . .
Vesuvius has shrunk, it seems:
There was more heat in me than streams
From that wounded crater in hot pus . . .

— They say you're like a woman. — What?
— Your age, I suppose — ? or maybe that cooked
Pebble, your heart? . . . Well, it's a thought . . .
Laugh? I thought I'd come apart?

— That dirty grin of yours, that cough
Thick as the phlegm of a senile lust;
Your old breast cancer draining off
Lava from under its scabby crust.

Comrade, let's go to bed together,
My hide against your sick hide; yes,
I swear by Venus you're my brother,
Vulcan! . . .
                  A little more . . . or less . . .

[translated by Dudley Fitts]

1 comment:

  1. ha. That cooked pebble...your heart!

    Those marsh photos of yours are just fantastic.