rejectomorph (flying_blind) wrote,
rejectomorph
flying_blind

Twice Shy

I watched the pale moon brighten as earth and its sky faded, and I listened to the evening cricket songs begin, and I inhaled the scent of the lawn, freshly cut so that it now more closely resembles my head (from which, a short time ago, I myself hacked much hair—but that's another story), and while I watched and listened and breathed all in my thoughtless innocence a mosquito was drinking my blood! Not only was it drinking my blood, but it had jabbed its proboscis into my knuckle! Now I have a bright moon and an itchy knuckle. I probably have West Nile virus too, but the symptoms of that won't show up for a while yet. The itch is destroying my sanity right now! Good thing the moon is only bright and not yet full, because between a full moon's influence and this itchiness I'd already be engulfed in madness.

Other than that, it's been a very nice day. Now here's this:



Sunday Verse


Novel


by Arthur Rimbaud


I

No one's serious at seventeen.
—On beautiful nights when beer and lemonade
And loud, blinding cafés are the last thing you need
—You stroll beneath green lindens on the promenade.

Lindens smell fine on fine June nights!
Sometimes the air is so sweet that you close your eyes;
The wind brings sounds—the town is near—
And carries scents of vineyards and beer. . .


II.

—Over there, framed by a branch
You can see a little patch of dark blue
Stung by a sinister star that fades
With faint quiverings, so small and white. . .

June nights! Seventeen!—Drink it in.
Sap is champagne, it goes to your head. . .
The mind wanders, you feel a kiss
On your lips, quivering like a living thing. . .


III.

The wild heart Crusoes through a thousand novels
—And when a young girl walks alluringly
Through a streetlamp's pale light, beneath the ominous shadow
Of her father's starched collar. . .

Because as she passes by, boot heels tapping,
She turns on a dime, eyes wide,
Finding you too sweet to resist. . .
—And cavatinas die on your lips.


IV.

You're in love. Off the market till August.
You're in love.—Your sonnets make Her laugh.
Your friends are gone, you're bad news.
—Then, one night, your beloved, writes. . .!

That night. . . you return to the blinding cafés;
You order beer or lemonade. . .
—No one's serious at seventeen
When lindens line the promenade.


—translated by Wyatt Mason
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