dimarts, de desembre 27, 2005

En pensant à Nicholas (French)

Bientôt à Montréal, la ville de mes rêves. Pourquoi? Je ne sais pas, mais cette ville m'a toujours amené quelquechose, une joie de vivre, un reconfort. Je l'aime comme aucune autre ville. J'imagine quelque fois qu'une de mes autre personalités est là, ça veut dire une de mes personalités quantum. Je ne suis pas (encore) fou!

Oui, une autre version de moi habite à un autre Montréal, tout à fait la même ville que maintenant sauf que j'y habite, et que j'y suis totalement heureux. J'y ai tout. J'ai un bon boulot (ce que j'ai même ici), j'ai une belle voiture neuve, peut-être un Mercedes ou un BMW, un bel apart dans un gratte-ciel avec balcon et vue du centre-ville d'un côté et du Mont Royal de l'autre. J'ai de bons amis (ce que j'ai même ici aussi). Mais plus que tout ça, même au lieu de tout ça, j'ai un bel amant. Non, je ne parle pas de ses charactéristiques physiques, sinon de ceux sensibles, de sa térritoire psychologique, de son amour pour moi, et que pour moi...

C'est à ce point-la que je me rends compte que, pour moi, pour ce Robert, je ne rêve que d'une fantaisie. Cet amant n'exsite pas que dans me rêves. Si, si l'univers est infinit, alors il existe un Robert qui a cet amant, mais tristement, ce n'est pas moi. Si, j'ai une belle vie ici dans mon coin, avec pas mal de bonheur. Mais, hélàs, même qu'il existe des bras dont j'ai envie, des lèvres que je veux bien baiser, un coeur que je veux bien écouter en battant furieusement à cause de moi, une âme que je veux bien joindre.... tout ça ne vaut rient, rien du tout... mes désirs valent rien que poru de la torture interne....

divendres, de desembre 23, 2005

The Common Bond (English / French / Irish / Welsh)

Where do poems go
when the poet dies
when his people die
when his language is a relic

I know

Some of them, the strangely "lucky" ones
come to Montgomery County
New York
not the city
fie upon you
back of beyond
population 49,000

in our midst
Catullus has sung the praises of Lesbia
and Sappho of Lesbos the praises of her bien aimée
Gilgamesh has mourned Enkidu's worming
Ovid has demonstrated Roman metamorphoses
Pwyll and Arawn have ruled each other's lands
Maeldúin has sailed to his many islands becauseof his geis
A Pillow Book has been digested
Oedipus dug out his eyes
and some Egyptians extoled their love and lust
Daoism and Hindusim married in haste and gave birth to some other faiths
and some Sri Lankans or Ceylonese
depending on your prediliction
longed for missing lovers
Sufists and the Augustus had an evening nibble
no one died
god save it
and heaven forbid
the exploits of a dull Poconian Dutch Welshman
embarassed the tender eyes of some bumpkins
I know where poems go when they die

by happenstance someone reads them
in a distant land
where texts are still exhalted
picked up cheap
at a book market
perhaps in a cathedral square
next to Genet and Heidegger
underneath some Mapplethorpe
oh he of questionable lens

and by hook
by crook
some of those words wander back
to the auris puplicus
and god help us
some one hears

so then in some small valley
in the America of tomorrow
perhaps in Chad
adrfit in an Ice Age verdant Tibesti
a swarthy lad in Faya Largeau
may even read some trash
in a heap
written by that same Pocononian Dutch Welshman
and see the common bond....

dilluns, de desembre 19, 2005

For Tom (English / Spanish)

to each thing comes an end
to love
to life
to roses
to fruit baskets
to French class

at times we anticipate the end
with dread
with glee
with sorrow
with fear
with yearning

the end still comes

even to long held friendships
like ours

I write this little poem now
to say good-bye officially
to cancel my subscription
to ignore any future bulk solicitations

we grew distant
I'm sure it was you who stopped sharing
too much entrenched in friend-love
you wanted to bolt years ago and didn't
so our friendship became a Parkinson's vicitim
and long suffering
still only a shadow of its former self

you have small dreams of a big life
a wife and children
a career

you are your father's son
and each of his sins you hold title to
you drink too much
you have few friends
whom largely you ignore
your career is your life now
even so
as he
you will build it quietly
and no one will care
still you will laud it as earth shattering
and proclaim your self-assured self-righteousness as he

you wrote a poem to me and gave it to me
the second one anyone ever wrote
at least that I ever found out about
I have it on my wall
I read it from time to time
I muse upon it
and ponder a distant past
once upon a time I was relavent to you
once upon a time you were at a crossroads
in Frost's yellow wood
alas you did not take the road less travelled
rather you followed the time worn roads laid before you
and walk a path further and further from mine

it's not all your fault
I wandered off myself
to a comfortable world you cannot inhabit
a special kind of complacency known only to picaros
yo he llegado a mi buen puerto
you were born into yours'
you have something to prove
I just want to enjoy my bienes
el fruto de mi sufranza
I waited from time to time at life's roadside
always expecting that you would catch up
you will
and when you do you will walk right on by
I doubt you would notice me there

so I won't be there when you do
I'll be off in my little nest
and I won't pay you any mind
you have your future before you
embrace and love it
I will take my bow when the curtain falls for my small part
and remember fondly your charity your love
from the days when they flowed freely
when you were young and free
from the days when I inspired you to put pen to paper
that is how I will think on you
image of youthful poet
idealistic and energetic
that is is how you will live in my memory
and there
you will live as long as I do
and I will still cherish our times
and still in those ghostly murky realms
I will say
I love you

diumenge, de desembre 18, 2005

Many Lovely Days and Events (English / Cornish / Welsh)

The past three weekends have been remarkable, marvelous, in a word, fantastic. I enjoy burning the candle at both ends, and in the middle, when it means I can have as much fun as I have had over the past three weekends. The fun really began three Fridays ago when I had John, Kim, Laurie, Jim and Bill over to the house for a Welsh vegetarian meal at which I offered them Wyau Môn (Anglessy Eggs, a lovely potato, egg and cheese casserol), selsig Morgannwg (Glamourgan sausages, a meatless sort of pseudo-sausage), cawl tomato ac afal (tomato and apple soup, quite lovely), bara brith (a sweet currant bread which uses tea and whiskey liquor as a binding agent instead of milk), salad, cheese and kouign-amann, a Breton butter cake for dessert. Along with that the six of us polished off five bottles of wine, a bottle of sherry and quite a bit of coffee and cordials.

Then two Thursdays ago when the "Congress of College Educators," ie the informal group of comrades from the union gathered at the Country Club for our usual Thursday afternoon and evening and good pub food, good drink and good conversation. Friday was still a school day, so I had to be up bright and early, at least in theory; in reality, we had a small snowstorm and the administrators elected to cancel class for the day. Nonetheless, Friday evening was of special note. I dined at the home of two members of the Welsh society, both in their 80's, but who still know how to enjoy the rose moments, and who make them happen. They live in a beautiful penthouse above Troy with wonderful views from both sides of the apartment. It really was a lovely home and a lovely evening, with copious amounts of good scotch and good lamb, and again, good conversation.

Saurday, it was my birthday. I am now officially 34 years of age. As many have told me already, I beat Jesus. Well, I certainly would have hoped I could fair better than a semi-mythological literary character... Saturday during the day I made the house ready, as at 4:30, Anna, her older brother Romek and her friend from work, Daryl, were to collect me and take me away to the Stockade Inn to celebrate my having lived longer than Jesus. While I was waiting for them, I sat in my living room contentedly sipping Penderyn Aur and listening to the classical music station when the insipiration came to write the poem that appears in the preceding blog entry. It was a lovely moment really; so rarely do I feel such instances of contentment. The meal I had at the Stockade was excellent. I had a nice Cragganmore to start out with, then scallop salad followed by my main-dish, the filet mignon. I opted not to have dessert, as the first courses had been so rich; instead I enjoyed a lovely snifter of grappa. We all returned to my house for more drinks and more conversation.

Ha wosa hemma, nos pur da gans dew dhen yowynk poth... ro penbloeth pur wheg!!

Sunday, I was up fairly early inspite of Saturday's revelery and on my way to Saratoga to join the regional French club for Christmas brunch at the Gideon Putnam. Again, I had a lovely time, getting to dine with two curretn students, both of whom are returning adults, and the spouse of one of them. Also at our table was the director of our local branch and her husband. The rest of Sunday was really just for relaxing and for shoring up for the long and difficult final. Mes nos Sul, den yowynk aral a re dos dhymm, ro penbloeth aral!! Penseythunn a bothder bras yn wir!

Finals week was long and difficult, inspite of its abbreviated schedule. Still I had my grades calculated and in by Thursday afternoon. Friday, we had another snow storm, but I was expecting more guests that evening, and I had to journey out in the foul weather to the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker amassing all the willful things for another Welsh themed dinner. I spent the rest of the day after that preparing by removing snow from this and my other house, cleaning, setting the table and cooking and baking. I made the cawl tomato ac afal again for a starter, and for the main course I made a potato and leek pie and lamb steaks baked in a red wine and blackberry jelly sauce, seasoned with garlic and rosemary. I also made bara brith and served salad and cheese in the French style. For dessert I offered pwdin Efa and icecream. That evening Jon and Kim returned, joined by T. and Mo, and Anna. Again we had a lovely evening.

Saturday, I rose late in the day. I was exhausted from the combined efforts of grading and socializing. Still I rose in time to journey to Galway and join many colleagues from my college and a neighboring one at Jon and Kim's home for a Christmas Salon where we ate, drank, ate some more, sang and read poetry. It was an all around lovely evening, and I found myself among the last to leave 8 hours after the party had begun!!. Sunday, today, I ventured out to Glen, some miles beyond Amsterdam, where I joined Laurie and Jim and some twenty-five of their friends, including Jon and Kim for a Solstice observance. Most of the people in attendance where people who, like Jim and Laurie, have chosen to live alternative energy lifestyles, and the hosts of the party were no exception. I was very tired through the entire event, but enjoyed it immensely, especially the massive bonfire. Now it is Sunday evening. The semester is finished, but there are still a few loose ends to tie up, and tomorrow I will set about doing them, as well as taking care of some other needful things. All in all, this has been one of the most lovely Christmas seasons I can recall in many years, and it's really only just gotten underway!

diumenge, de desembre 11, 2005

Eiliad Perffaith (Welsh / English)

Doe mi ddaeth
Eiliad perffaith i farw
Roedd y tŷ yn dawel iawn
a'r stryd a'r cylch
Roeddwn yn eistedd yn fy 'stafell las
rhwng y ffenestri bae
lle gallwn i sbio ar yr eira
yn gorwedd ar y tiroedd
yr haul yn machlud wrth ben y stryd
o dan wybren o gymylau trwm llwyd
Roedd y tŷ yn gynnes
siocledi yn aros ar y bwrdd coffi
y gerddoriaeth glasurol yn canu'n isel
Chopin oedd
a fi'n disgwyl ymwelwyr
oedd yn dod i ddathlu fy mhenblwydd
Roedd y stafelloedd yn dywyll â machlud yr haul
Goleuni'r stafell fwyta wedi'u troi'n isel
fy nghotyn hir du yn crogi ar draws un o'r cadeiriau
yn barod i fy nhaith i'r bwyty bras lle dathlen ni
gyda thoc a thic y clociau'n carlamu
Roeddwn yn eistedd yn drwm
yn hapus ac yn blwm
yn fy nghadair freichiau
gwydraid o wisgi Cymreig yn fy llaw
a fi ynghylch y pethau hardd a bras y casglaswn
yn Ffrainc, yng Nghymru, ymhobman lle trafaelais i
fi ynghylch yr anrhegion a chofion câr
oddi wrth gariadon, gyfeillion a pherthnasau eraill
Doe mi ddaeth eilaid perffaith i farw
Pechod na wnes i ddim.

Yesterday came
A perfect moment to die
The house was so quiet
and the street and the neighborhood
I was sitting in my blue room
between the bay windows
where I could spy the snow
laying on the land
the sun setting at the end of the street
below a sky of heavy grey cloud
The house was warm
chocolates waiting on the coffee table
classical music playing in the background
it was Chopin
and I awaiting guests coming to celebrate my birthday
The rooms were dark with the setting sun
The dining room lights turned down low
my long black coat hanging across one of the chairs
ready for my journey to the restaurant where we would sup
the tock of the clock knocking
I was sitting heavily
happily like lead
in my armchair
a glass of Welsh whiskey in my hand
and I amidst the pretty, lovely things I had gathered
in France and Wales, everywhere I travelled
I amidst the dear gifts and memories
from lovers, friends and family
Yesterday came a perfect moment to die
A pity that I did not.

dijous, de desembre 01, 2005

For the nick in the cup... (English / French)

Old lament
song never changes
l'empire se débauche
c'est normal
I wish you could love me dear
I long for you to love me dearly
to let me hold you in my arms
for as long as I got on this meter
I want to kiss you face till my teeth hurt
I will to kiss your sex until my tongue rots
I want to lay in bed with you till my body fails
but none of that really interests you
you have unchartered waters yet to imagine
and I have rowed most of them already

Alas, alack, my plaintive complaints
so many came before
all unrequited
passion unfulfilled is passion still
better than complacency
far better than perfection
Having had you once, twice and thrice is better than never
Beggars can't be choosers Momma always says
Still I would choose you and beg you
beg for you
Maybe longing for your love and lust is why I'm alive...