Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Two poems I'm working on now...this very minute...

The beginning of an updated version of TS Eliot's "Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock" for the youth of today, today being roughly 1999, the youth being an uncertain fiction, culled together from my own distant memories of high school, written partly in response to a friend in graduate school who said were Shakespeare alive today he would be a rapper, but also done in full appreciation of rap and of some of the acts who are really fucking good, indeed the narrator is to be a suburban kid, so the real point of this is not class, or race, but rather a certain impoverishment of discourse which, though not universal, is, I believe, widespread and is real and is a problem.

Yo homes, let's bounce
when the night
looks like some dude in a coma;
Let's jet through the empty boulevard
About, I don't know, hos, and loneliness
and fastfood joints and styromfoam;

Secondly a poem about the inevitable confusions - emotional, psychological, physical - that are bound to arise during a menage a trois...

Oh, whose thigh is this?
Upon it I wish to dine!

Bite it I must, my dear -
Ouch! That thigh is mine!

A new translation of Robert Frost's Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Chillaxing in the Forest on a Winter's Night

A new translation of Robert Frost's Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Hey, I recognize this forest!
The dude lives in town;
He can't see me from where he is, though
As I watch all this fucking snow accumulate.
My pony seems to think it gay
To halt our path here, with nothing around
Smack dab 'twixt the forest and the ice pond
Especially on the Winter Solstice.
My pony rustles and snorts with impatience
As if asking, yo, are you nuts?
I crane to listen, but all I hear
Is the gentle wind and soft snow.
Man, this forest really is pretty sweet.
But my word is bond
And I've got a ways to go before I hit the hay,
And I've got a ways to go before I hit the hay.

trans. Sheridan Dupre

Yeats's "The Second Coming", in a new verse translation by Sheridan Dupre; the first stanza of a work in progress [UPDATED - TRANSLATION COMPLETE]

It's Happening Again!

a new translation of William Butler Yeats's The Second Coming

Spinning and Spinning in the ever increasing chasm
The bird of prey hears not his handler;
Whatnot collapses; the middle caves in;
Radical and Individualistic political philosophy is unleashed,
Red waves o'er leap their banks, and all over
The ritual of childhood is held - forcibly - under water;
The most responsible don't know what they're doing nor why they're doing it, the least
are really angry.

Definitely some unveiling is imminent;
Surely it's happening again right here, right now.
It's happening again! As soon as I've said it
A humongous hallucination from Mother Earth
bothers my eyes; a misuse of Saharan granules;
Its body looks like the King of the Jungle, its head like a dude,
It stares stupidly but unforgivingly, like the fire in the sky,
Its quads? They move like molasses, and as all this goes down
A breeze follows the testy vultures.
Night falls, but I can see
that 2000 years of a coma-like rest
Were antagonized to a bad dream by a baby's bassinet,
And what ugly thing, with timing impeccable,
Shuffles with poor posture off to the Holy Land to be birthed?

--trans. Sheridan Dupre

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Buyer's Remorse: The Election Edition

What ho, bitches!

News from Dupreland. Some of you may have heard that the United States had an election the other day. Now, being of Royal stock, though of a kingdom that no longer exists, I still have some reservations about the experiment of democracy. Old habits, generations in the making, do, dear readers, die hard. But I do participate in this democracy, and watched here in New York as the returns came in on what has been roundly called a historic night.

But here's the rub. I got - as is my wont - utterly inebriated election night and - I can't believe I'm typing this - I also got an enormous Obama tattoo. I'm mortified, dear readers! The details are foggy - I remember being in St Mark's place, and getting rather caught up with, well, initially a guerilla feminist street theater company (their description, not mine - I thought they were perfectly charming ladies) and then with a group of anarchists. Or hippies. I can only recall their stench. But what isn't foggy - alas, alack - are the expert details of this night forever imprinted upon my back. This tattoo, as far as I can tell by catching reflections of myself in the mirror, seems to be a mostly green dragon, with rainbow-colored butterfly wings, wearing brown puma high top sneakers. But most of its scales are colored red, white, and blue, and spell "hope" "change" "freedom" and "Ohio" but in that vision trick sort of way where one needs to stare at it and then the words pop out. Posters that employed this technique were readily attainable in the 90s in towns like Providence, Madison, Ithaca, Athens. You might also remember it from the cover of the first Dave Matthews Band album? Anyhow, atop this mythical beast apparrently of my own devising sits our president elect, holding the reins and wearing a two horned viking helmet and a suit of armor! And the dragon is flying over an assortment of presidents from the past - I've identified Polk, Buchanan, and Harrison, for some reason I seem to have forgone the more iconic past commanders in chief - all of whom are looking up and saluting. The tattoo, I'm afraid, is huge, and takes up most of my back!

I'm really embarrassed, dear readers, and it hurts, too!

Now the Dupre family is a modest clan, and the number of times that I have to bare the pink flesh of my upper body is thankfully few and far between. However, every summer we do gather on the Adriatic for weeks of swimming and reunions. How I will handle this I know not, but I have all winter to mull.