by Bill Yarrow
At five o'clock in the afternoon, at five o'clock
in the afternoon, I got on (or boarded) to embark
the intoxicated dingy, the restive inebriated skiff
of last week's dreams, with a muskrat, cockroach,
and Richard Parker (the CGI tiger from Life of Pi)
to drift, elementally and continentally, infinitely
and augustly, past honeymoons and industrial
cantilevers, vats of lovers' hats and laundry,
through boulevards of bacon bits and coarse catacombs
of honey. Who would have thought? I ask you: would you
have thought? And what the sky. And what the pock-marked,
red-faced, foul-mouthed, slim-hipped sky. What price
allegiance? (Circular gunfire in Orion's head) What man has
planted can break his self-regard. Perfume from an unseen
censer. O Jamesy, Jamesy, let me up. Let me up out of this.
All rights reserved.
This poem is part of Incompetent Translations and Inept Haiku (Cervena Barva Press, 2013).
It appeared in Treehouse.
"Le Bateau ivre" is a 1871 poem by Arthur Rimbaud.
"At five o'clock in the afternoon"--Federico Garcia Lorca, "Lament for Ignacio Sanchez Mejias"
"perfume from an unseen censer"--Edgar Allan Poe, "The Raven"
"Let me up out of this"--James Joyce, Ulysses