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Thursday, November 1, 2012

CATULLUS POEM 11, An Adaptation of an Ancient Roman Love Poem

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An Adaptation of an Ancient Roman Love Poem

Billy, Steven,

Hey guys! Do Stanley the favor, and tell her,
Please, convey the message.

Tell her, he is afoot upon Indian Ocean shores,
And this time he has a consort, a glory maiden,
A girl who owns a midriff which possesses
Such a tight exacting, tiny measure
That it focuses her form into a symmetry well-nigh perfect.
Why it brings joy to any man when he spies it!

And she, stepping out before the white-top crisps,
The ever-breaking presentation of wave after wave,

Her joyously springing through the spray,
Her tiptoeing along the sweep of the ceaseless waters,
Yes, my gentlemen friends, I tell you true,
She complements the paradise of the beach.
Her gait carries hint of the everlasting;
It lulls the mind's eye into rapture, and all who see her,
This woman, who now walks upon the beach with me,
Are transported, her breaking, her turning, her dancing,
The rhythm of her movement carries the beach away.

Hey guys, try to make it work, play her,
See if you can get her jealous.

Or if you feel that this story too convenient,
A tale she might not believe, why then tell her,
Stanley goes alone into the Ganges plain, and
Seeks to follow the time line of empire and civilization,
Or, maybe better yet, that he has turned
To sign post pointing north
To the glacier’s cave, the river’s mouth,
Where sky animates the waters in spectrum of colors,
Which, when running against
The half-submerged rocks and boulders,
Uplifts such awesome scintillating, incandescent spray
That pilgrims must rub their eyes and wonder,
They must assure themselves that they are awake,
And have not fallen into magic of a dreamland slumber.

Billy, Steven, my friends, let her know,
Let that woman know, 
How close to heaven is the mouth of the river,
How great God's gift whose flow begins
At ice-bound, cavern source in the Himalayas!

Tell her that Stanley is gone,
Tell her what you will,
That he has discovered new love and spends his time
With wondrous companion on East-Indian, ocean shore,
Or that he retires to a mountain cave, and lives alone.

But, should it be, and Stanley must run even farther,
As if, he must find more distant refuge
In order to escape her haunt, her awful memory,
Here's a good one,
See if this story strikes a spark in the devil lady's eyes.
Run the tale that Stanley sets blanket on sand in old Siam,
Where lovely Buddha women administer
His every physical need, and teach religious tenets
That might bring soul to calm
And show person path to new knowledge.

Tell her, he travels to the Far East.


And should you hear that she still follows him,
You may note, but do not share with others.

Keep this destination to yourselves. It's a secret!

Stanley escapes to Australia,
First to the city, Perth, to acclimate himself to life,
Where under influence of the Southern Cross
Astrology may chart his sign a better course of life.

And should he not find peace.
On that island-continent’s western shore,
Know he treks the long, highway east,
Traveling from mile post to mile post
Out from Bunbury toward the Outback,
Past roads with names like Starvation and Reptile,
‘Crossing the Nullarbor’, and then down south
To Port Adelaide and across the eight hundred miles
To the docks and wharfs of Melbourne, and once there,
In Victoria, he turns to the North and East,
Beyond Eden and Milton on Highway 1,
To find Gulburra, where he meets his Australia,
A bathing beauty, a blond and tall, true love,
A maid known for her moral character,
It happens while he walks out upon the sand,
Against bright, bright sky as South Pacific burgeons,
And it makes its great roll onto the white of Surf Beach.

Billy, Steven, tell her he has found a way to cope
With her turning everything in his world upside down.



Oh his friends, his buddies, Billy, Steven!
Though you are ready and might wish to hurry,
To travel and visit, to join him in this remote geography,
-- We all live according to Destiny’s will --
You may believe him when he declares that

Happiness comes to all good men as do the rays,
The bright that comes to souls with summer’s sun,

Announce, would you please, would you let her know,
Yet before he had departed that he left these words?

No need temper his comment, my good comrades.

Do not beg that she forgive his unkindness.

Tell her, he tired of living beneath her continued deceit,
Her stubborn refusal ever to admit the truth,
Her lie upon lie, until her and his own head spin,
No real memory, no living history,
All concoction, each and every personal event,
She not remembering a word she said.

And let her live and love,
May she have three hundred lovers or more,
And disappoint whomever her unhappiness encounter,
That her self hatred destroys whatever hopes some
Good and noble might have,
Cursed are those who fail to discern her treachery!

Here Stanley cleaves unto the words of Catullus,
When, once upon a time, and so long ago,
The ancient poet had come to realize the term, whore,
Was a word he meant to stand for her insatiable lying.

As for Stanley, and his love,
All that love of his which had been hers for the embracing,
His deep regard is gone and in this, our pagan world,
No forgiveness, no promise of the resurrection,
No flower, no plant, once the farmer’s passing plow
Deracinates and mangles it,
No flower may hope to live and flourish,
It has no future and never blooms, again.

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