I want to be more than just a fascination you grow quickly weary of.
In this world
we walk on the roof of hell,
gazing at flowers.
The moon and the flowers,
walking around, wasting time.
my ramshackle hut
is what it is.
I’m going out,
flies, so relax,
Don’t worry, spiders,
I keep house
among the blossoming flowers.
The world of dew
is the world of dew,
And yet, and yet–
Kobayashi Issa (1763 – 1827 / Japan)
CLITORISER (Se). La faire jouir en jouant de la langue
dans son con (voir Gamahucher)
Il te faut, à tout prix,
Sucer des clitoris,
Et si l’antiquité
Ne l’eût pas fait,
tu l’aurais inventé.
CLITORISER. One who make her cum while playing with her
cunt (see Gamahucher)
You need, at all costs,
to suck the clitoris,
And if antiquity hadn’t invented
this then you would have.
NOTE: I often lament that English has not invented better terms for oral sex. We borrow some; “cunnilingus” and “fellatio” are universal but at this point a little bland. “Suck clit” and “Blow job” have always felt like school yard retorts; what we say when we are shit-faced drunk and all our poetry has left us. The French, though, have devoted a lot of time and energy into creating their erotic language. The fact that they have an entire verb, “gamahuche,” expands their poetic worlds drastically. English needs something better than just applying, “licking,” and “sucking,” onto cunt and cock.
three poems by Leila Miccolis, from Portuguese
I look at you
POEMA PARA O NAMORADO
Teu lado feminino me erotiza:
são belos, sensuais e muito caros
certos instantes gostosos, em que te encaro
menos como homem e mais como menina:
quando passas teus cremes para a pele,
ou pões o avental pra cozinhar,
ou quando em mim te esfregas
até gozar os teus gozos sem fim,
ou quando tuas mãos, leves e lésbicas,
desabam como plumas sobre mim.
POEM FOR A BOYFRIEND
Your feminine side makes me erotic:
it is beautiful, sexy and very dear.
There are certain moments when I regard you
less like a man and more like a girl:
when you apply creams to your skin,
or when you put the apron on to cook,
or when you massage me
so that I enjoy your endless joys,
or when your hands, light and sapphic,
fall like feathers upon me.
Meu homem eu quero,
molhado e úmido
I want my man
to be able to be
wet and damp
like a woman
I do things not because I am particularly skilled or
good at them but because they are fun. Translations are a wonderful
example. Of course I don’t know Portuguese or any other language—I
hardly have a grasp on English—but muddling through puzzles,
decoding, deciphering, finding that something totally alien is
beautiful and amazing … that’s why I wake up in the morning. Once I
attempted to translate a Pablo Neruda poem and thought I had done a
kinda/maybe/sorta good job (I checked it against other English
translations and it didn’t seem to have any horrific flaws) so I
posted it on my blog. A couple of days later someone from Uruguay
wrote to me saying, “what have you done to my beloved Pablo?”
Apparently some of the words I decided to use weren’t the correct
ones. Another time I found a Federico Garcia Lorca poem that I had
translated getting torn apart on an on-line forum because, as one
person put it, if I “had any grasp of the Spanish language at
all” I wouldn’t be making such obvious mistakes. Translators
seem to be a very unforgiving bunch, at times. Since then I mainly
focus on poets that I’ve stumbled across who have never been
translated into English because, as Marilyn Hacker put it, “even
a bad translation is good because it might cause someone more fluent
in that language to make a better translation.” Life is too
short to apologize for having fun.
We both can’t be out past six; your parents
will call, I have my midnight shift. When I
pull out — all wet, smeary — my fingerprints
leave red, dire streaks in your hair. The wild rye
has been guzzled, they’ll smell it on your breath.
The stains in your mom’s car; the way you bit
down hard as the, “petite mort,” little death,
broke you. Didn’t Whitman say, “If the clit
is not the soul,/ what is the soul?” No? Darn.
I’ll crawl back into my scrubs. Tomorrow
I’ll meet you outside school. What else is there?
All your exams and my knitting and yarn?
Caught in another shiver, ache’s cruel flow,
we stare at the stain on your underwear.
“If the clit is not the soul,/what is the soul?” No?
Some are doggy-dogs in
and fat anal beads, shaggy
at the end. Some dabble in
flirtation and the crop.
“By the pricking
of my thumbs/ something
wicked this way comes.”
Some love convulsions that
come with their vice.
Unpredictable bad love.
Some love drums
in jazz never hitting the
same note twice —
my hand on your ass
— Like Mingus’
simple.” It’s like this:
all this ends in ire.
You’re blessed with good sex,
money and time. I’m drunk,
rank and gorgeous.
Pull up your bloomers. Go
home. You’ll find your bliss
with some other sod — a
god dour, complex.
Sou o preferido filho de Dionísio, deus da porra e vinho. Por causa de você, minha corpo é duro e molhado. Fique nu no meu quarto. Eu quero um escuro beijo. Sou o fruto da deusa do amor, Afrodita. Engula me, encontrar a tua fome, saciar a tua sede. Entre os dois sexos, sou o corpo de nossos divinos gula.
I’m the favorite son of Dionysus, god of wine and fucking. Because of you, my body is hard and wet. Stand naked in my room. I want a dark kiss. I am the fruit of the goddess of love, Aphrodite. Swallow me, find your hunger, quench your thirst. Between the sexes, I am the body of our divine gluttony.