MARGUERITE (by Rubén Darío; translated by William Ruleman)

MARGUERITE
 
(by Rubén Darío; translated by William Ruleman)
 
Remember how you longed to be a Marguerite
Gautier? Burned on my brain, the strangeness of your face
On that first date when we went out to eat:
Light-hearted night with none thereafter to take its place.
 
Your lips, smeared scarlet with a crude lipstick replete
With purple, sipped champagne with exquisite grace
From finest crystal while you plucked a . . . yes, marguerite:
“He loves me, he loves me not . . .” You knew quite well the case.
 
And then, hysterical flower, how you laughed and cried:
Those laughs, your scents, your moans—ah, they were all for me!
Your kisses and your tears seemed on my mouth to stay.
 
And one sad afternoon when days were sweet, you died.
To see if you loved me, Death, in his jealousy,
Plucked you, like a marguerite of love, away!
 
MARGARITA
 
(Rubén Darío)
 
¿Recuerdas que querías ser una Margarita
Gautier? Fijo en mi mente tu extraño rostro está,
cuando cenamos juntos, en la primera cita,
en una noche alegre que nunca volverá.
 
Tus labios escarlatas de púrpura maldita
sorbían el champaña del fino baccarat;
tus dedos deshojaban la blanca margarita,
«Sí… no… sí… no…» ¡y sabías que te adoraba ya!
 
Después, ¡oh flor de Histeria! llorabas y reías;
tus besos y tus lágrimas tuve en mi boca yo;
tus risas, tus fragancias, tus quejas, eran mías.
 
Y en una tarde triste de los más dulces días,
la Muerte, la celosa, por ver si me querías,
¡como a una margarita de amor, te deshojó!
 
 
 
William Ruleman photo

BIO: William Ruleman’s poems and translations have appeared in many journals, including AALitra Review, Ezra, The Galway Review, The New English Review, The Pennsylvania Review, The Recusant, Rubies in the Darkness, The Sonnet Scroll, and Trinacria. His books include two collections of his own poems (A Palpable Presence and Sacred and Profane Loves, both from Feather Books), as well as translations of poems from Rilke’s Neue Gedichte (WillHall Books, 2003), of Stefan Zweig’s fiction in Vienna Spring: Early Novellas and Stories (Ariadne Press, 2010), of prose and poems by Zweig in A Girl and the Weather (Cedar Springs Books, 2014), and of poems by the German Romantics in Verse for the Journey: Poems on the Wandering Life (also from Cedar Springs Books). He is Professor of English at Tennessee Wesleyan College.LINK to William Ruleman’s Blog: http://williamruleman.tumblr.com/
 
 
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Because Of The Deep Notes. A Poem by Stephen Philip Druce

 
Because Of The Deep Notes by Stephen Philip Druce
 
I saw poker faced monsters in shuffling cars plot,
i saw the misshapen grins of arching fountains,
the pulsing hounds in shadowed gunshot.
In lost ships i saw ghosts within coats of forgotten stitch,
under the strips of desert skin i saw the old bones twitch.
I saw giants big as churches juggle fire in the alleys
where the fleeing fox sat, among the cracked walls
were the manacled cat calls and pouring fibre rat.
I saw the broken spine of stopped clock as the scattered stars wept,
without the midnight chimes the great conductor in the sky slept.
I saw misbehaving angels in chariots clad in gazelle breeze run,
i saw the roll of a hurricane bowl of palm trees glad of a golden peach sun.
I saw flesh crawl upon deserted beach floors in the name of contorted sin,
i saw the ocean contours rock in tender velvet hymn.
I saw horses gallop under backstreet tunnels that curved in graffiti art,
of a rainbow arc illuminating in the dark and our names penned in a love heart –
because of the deep notes.

 
 
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Stephen Philip Druce is a fifty year old poet from Shrewsbury
( birthplace of Charles Darwin) in England. At college his literary tutors
referred to him as ‘The Real Fantasist’, such was the rich imagery he would
display in his fantasy based poetry. Stephen is published with Pulsar, Century 121,
The Right Place At The Right Time, Bad Scents Of Humour, Muse Literary Journal,
The Screech Owl, Hermes, Bareback Literature, Fade, and The Inconsequential.
Stephen enjoys reading William Carlos Williams, WH Auden, Philip Larkin, Charles
Bukowski, John Keats, and Dylan Thomas.

 
 
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Adam, Where Are You? A Poem by Franchot Ballinger

 
 
I wasn’t long for that world.
I was treated like dirt.
OK, so I didn’t get to choose my
Name, but I’m my own man, I’ll tell you.
I got to name the filthy beasts,
Who were already there when I
Woke from that dreamless, selfless sleep
I’d been in. What a greeting they gave me—
Their snarling bared teeth, claws and hooves
Mauling the air before me.
They were something else, and I
Was more than glad to say what they were.
It was like the names kept them off.
 
Then she happened, sudden.
I woke from a nap (This one a dreaming-of-me
Sleep). And there she was. Now, where’d she come from?
Not something I could (or would have) dreamt up.
I got to name her too: Eve.
Prophetic, eh?
If such things as beasts and she must be,
There’s comfort in giving a name.
Still, the orders were to take her
As my flesh and bone. One,
We were supposed to be—like lichen or pondlight,
I guess—as if there were no edges to us.
 
What a puzzle. But, you know,
Sometimes that being one stuff wasn’t bad.
I’d wake in the morning from my dreams,
Her head on my chest,
And the light would be like a lilt in the air—
A choral radiance greeting us—and we
Smiled a lot in a certain dim-witted way.
 
But most often we’d stand staring at each other,
Dull as dirt, stunned as deer caught in torchlight.
She clearly wasn’t me and I wasn’t her,
Not that I cared to be. So, all in all, I for one
Was only too glad to get out. Never mind the rumors…
I chose.
During all the “he said, she said” after the trouble,
I felt something crack inside, like a flawed pot
Over-heated in all the hiss and boil of the tiff.
From then on, it was all careless looks and words
Flicked like snot from fingertips.
The light in her eyes flew off
Like a puff of milkweed down across an empty field at dusk.
I saw there was nothing
Between us but echoing air. I
Couldn’t stay, had to be free, and left in dark of night.
Damned if she didn’t follow. I
Could sense her skulking out behind me. I
Didn’t look for fear I’d get yanked back. Maybe
I should have; maybe the old evil eye
Would have sent her back. But She
Caught up, and we stumbled dumbly along.
 
As we still do.
Now, most days and in the long, long
Nights, we scarcely converse.
When we do our voices seem to caress themselves,
And something in them spills and spills
Like rain down denuded hills.
Is this karma, or what?

 
 
Franchot Ballinger
 
 
In retirement after nearly 40 years teaching English at the University of Cincinnati, Franchot Ballinger has continued volunteering with the Cincinnati Nature Center in various capacities and is also a spiritual care volunteer with Hospice of Cincinnati. His poems have appeared in numerous poetry journals in print and on-line.
 
 
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“Jus primae noctis” A Poem by Christine Stoddard

 
You call this bed your splendor; I call it my cemetery.
This pillow is my tombstone. This sheet, death’s veil.
 
Your prick has made a ghost of me, yet glaistig I am not.
If I could sing, I might lure you and drink your blood
but voice have I none. No, Monseigneur, none.
 
As soon as my husband slipped the ring on my finger,
you whisked me away to your dark, mossy castle.
The fog filled my lungs and I fainted on your steed.
 
Open any book and you’ll know how the story goes,
‘The funeral follows the wedding.’
 
When the servant slumbering in the trundle bed
bolts up at your bellowing, we shall have a witness
to the death of my honor.
 
I had hoped the priest would deflower me instead.
He is soft and white like a maggot, hardly fearful.
But you are big, as big as a hairy highland coo,
so fearful and yet still so soft, still so white.
 
I had hoped you would’ve been wearing chainmail–
perhaps my silence would seem less pitiful.
Perhaps my husband could forgive me then.
 
Do not call me ‘bonny’ as I writhe beneath you.
Bone the sorrowful lass and be done, bassa.
Be done, be done, be done, be done, be done.
 
 

Christine Stoddard Headshot 2
 
 
Christine Stoddard is a wordsmith and visual storyteller originally from Virginia. While an undergrad at VCUarts, she founded Quail Bell Magazine , which has been featured in Time Out New York, Volume 1 Brooklyn, and Washington Post Express. Her words and images have appeared in The New York Transit Museum, The Feminist Wire, Thought Catalog, The Poe Museum, The Brooklyn Quarterly, Bustle, Figment D.C., the Annapolis Fringe Festival, and elsewhere. Check out more of Christine’s work at
WordsmithChristine.com and WorldOfChristineStoddard.com.

 
 
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At A Slant. A Poem by Robin Ouzman Hislop

(1.)
 
(i)
 
I approach the horizon of my 70th the year, at a slant.
Opposite the bars of the kitchen window the gable end
wall is stuffed with straw, stones, sand, birds
& weird contortions.
 
O cellular automata paying lip service to an age of cryptography,
decipher me; a digit in time saves nine.
 
(ii.)
 
The wall is yellow now, a mingling crumble:
– carte blanche in the sun’s heat it stands to fall
– a block across which entangled photons might reach
– to inform the space already transfixed in the light.
 
On this plane of observation,
which might be the special attraction of the fractal symmetry
of this organism with its bacteria in my nose
together with the properties of impregnated asteroids.

 
(2.)
 
(i.)
 
On the bus. 27/05/14:
 
under the hat, squaring the ridge, on the gravey train:
 
traffic is more representive of our specie nowadays,
an extension of our inner space,
put back what you get out of it,
like the carnivore industry, from gravey to the grave.
 
(ii.)
 
Airport lounge. 2.30pm 27/5/14:
 
extended into our traffic but not our cattle, we eat them, whereas our traffic eats us.
 
(iii.)
 
Departures Gates:
 
We’re not meat as we’re shuffled through Controle,
milled into queue, loaded into seats to be transported across the skies:
 
our meat machines are the word made flesh from which we grow to love, not hate!
 
(iv.)
 
Late in the Departures Lounge.
 
Night drinks a darkening,
day in its deceit harvests green
with all its carnage unseen
beneath our conscious sheen
for were the green gone
how could night become
wth a hey & a ho & a noddy
noddy hey ho.
 
(v.)
 
On the floor stands an orange cow beside the snack bar,
bedecked in flags of nations & tasty invites.
 
You can even touch it, it will not bite.
 
The Delicatessen sports legs of smoked ham & spirits,
a carboard cut out black bull rages in ferocious stance,
a headless torreador, richly costumed brings it down,
no need for fight or flight, it’s there to tame your hunger.

 
(3.)
 
(i)
 
Day 3, in the shaving mirror.
 
She was like a digital doll,
young, almost beautiful,
compiled to instruct us by ritual mannerism
to go through that door in the wall with a video camera
in every corner watching over us all.
 
Whose going to watch it, I wonder,
perhaps Watson, who one day
will be able to react on itself, in AI.
 
(ii.)
 
The con of life:
 
the weirdness of its melodramatic sham,
how good we are at yesterday & tomorrow,
always better than before
& being had in the process by it.

 
(4.)
 
(i.)
 
At a slant – the street. 12/06/14:
 
parades predatory robots, rapien vampires,
a pageantry of prawns & satellites flying
computer sausage balloons:
 
an android addresses the multitude with the question,
who has not the free will to be immortal.
 
(ii.)
 
Skull Moon,
looming in your implacable fashion,
are we facing extinction?
 
You live longer than we do,
tuned into the fine tuning of the cosmic sea,
where we swim only to drown on the tides
drawn by the skull beneath the waves.
 
(iii.)
 
Life is a shadow in a phantom metropolis,
that fights with its own shadow in the phantom deception of conflict:
 
transubstantiation,
we are special because between the bonobo & the baboon
we strike a happy medium, we grow the meat we eat,
the world is our property.

 
(5.)
 
(i.)
 
A walk in the cemetery:
 
no shining sarcophagus,
no black & silver gleaming obelisks,
no painted vases on filmy fields,
here the bank’s greenery gathers them,
tipped & tilted awry, dark stained moss brown,
not a tint of blood red.
 
They’re a huddle of mute sameness,
a closeness without plasticity,
nature harvests no funeral,
life simply goes on, appearances are deceptive.
 
(ii.)
 
Slant:
 
summer day,
chicks sally forth in summer shorts,
sequestering looks & selecting sequestered looks,
the world is a mating call.
 
(iii.)
 
From the moor:
 
nature unleashed on this wind where ancient whiffs
of nostalgia blow from land & sea,
were my predecessors really so free, or like me,
trapped in this dimension of existence?
 
Dressed & undressed, the hairless ape,
dressed & undressed, a dance of rigmarole,
until we became a costume part,
a marmet puppet of coloured rags & roll of flags
 
(iv.)
 
Out of town 9/7/14:
 
shunting from the station,
arches overhead, slanting,
produces an OCD rush in the brain
‘underneath the arches i dreamed my life away’
together with musical refrain.
 
The arch trance
– an iteration of ink blots or patches of light & dark.

 
(6.)
 
(i)
 
Shopping mall:
 
float in the slip stream of an air conditioned sunlight,
a euphoria of flowing flesh, a solid fixed epiphany of the age.
 
Saccades pass through windows,
which mirror time where nothing changes
in reflected distance, as an object of existence,
(there yet might be no external world):
 
ephemeral moments that intervene
to describe reality as slices of dream.

 
(7.)
 
(i.)
 
Cathedral city.
 
And seized the sudden primate brain &
plunged it into never waking obsession;
 
& today amidst the shambling shadows,
the meaty pastiche, the murky depths of our children’s
children with their emblazoned banners,
 
copies of a faded vain glory freedom,
buried blood beneath a soaked & soggy green
that will once again spring into radiant sheen.
 
(ii.)
 
Derby hill.
 
Amongst its dark satanic mill
where the falcon soars the fell
over milk & honey dairy swell
a video cam on each farm wall
to toil the land to till & kill.

 
(8.)
 
(i.)
 
Dancing tossed:
 
a measure of uncertainty where the environment begins
(but ony seems) in the drift of infinity
& where it never finishes in its last ultimate instance
– on the pityless wave …
 
(ii.)
 
Here we are so so big & so so tiny small,
are we a particle or are we a cell,
that damned eternal interval – silencio.

 
(9.)
 
Day One Return Flight in the Shaving Mirror. (12/9/14)
 
Dear Homo Sapient,
it’s a pity we can’t be more than we are
but it’s the same for all of us!
 
At the heart of all politics is religion,
at the heart of all religion is gossip mongering,
the birth of a nation state is a limited liability company,
a moral fiction.

 
(10.)
 
Click.
 
In the brain
& again the rain
& before the click
i can’t locate it –
what shall i do,
shall i let it stall,
or unwind it all?
The click’s the call – Click.
 
(11.)
 
This shoe string bartered world
where every corner shrieks
the garbled parrot’s song
the fabricated icon
where dreams of sick apes
are unfurled.
 
(12.)
 
What is the final emotion
where we programme every physical thing
information into a time machine
on a haunted meme?

 
(13.)
 
(i.)
 
Rubbish dump:
 
language limits the world’s slide.
 
(ii.)
 
Snap shots of the distant dust,
where the dead cascade on the silver linings of memories.
 
(iii.)
 
An image of the day where night emerges through
the mirrored light & the abyss begins folded in a dream.
 
(iv.)
 
The jingle jangle in the tip with it’s rubble shards.
 
(v.)
 
Smell of shit & twilight’s shadowy shapes
flickering in a primordial zone of petrified pheromones.
 
(vi.)
 
Life is better than us, the world is more than our plots,
our masquerade where all the characters are flawed,
so many poems have been written about the moon:
 
metaphors of nevermore.
 
15.
 
(i.)
 
What is a multitude,
we are as helpless as the leaves rustled by a breeze
on a tree which can answer neither yes nor no
or predict its stance beyond the quantification
of the imponderable comparables.
 
(ii.)
 
Nothing moves in the breach that engulfs us in its bifurcation of nothingness.
 
16.
 
(i.)
 
A glint of flint,
ground gravel,
a spruce of sprig,
broken twig,
scuttling insect,
scuffed toe,
sombrero,
there’s no flow,
membranous landscapes
slide show.
 
(ii.)
 
But not this life that drags on
its innumerable concerns from hand to mouth, the law!
that is not -what it is like,
that which – we want to know.

 
17.
 
World without doors
after the before that
doors do not speak
 
doors that let you in
doors that let you out
doors that lock you down
 
Tunes that determine words
words that determine tunes
 
Break in space
eat in public place
 
Do not touch
it must have a name
 
Like emergence
hurrah for war
 
After the before that
doors do not speak
 
World without doors
weather & time
the patches in between.

 
18.
 
The world is our closure & time its property that neither comes nor goes,
unlike the snow that freezes & thaws in its tarnished whiteness,
or as consciousness that like a pendulum swings to & fro
& manufactures dream in the instants between:
age is made of memories & forgetting.
 
19.
 
Munching a grape skin
& mentally humming a tune
it’s rhythm resonates between
his teeth.
 
20.
 
We’ve forged our own manacles of time,
condemned ourselves to the bondage of servitude
in the name of freedom.
The salmon swimming up stream is freer than us,
our pets are freer than us.
 
We’ve sentenced ourselves to no reprieve & sold out.
Having emerged from shadows we fear our return
to them & have let them make us their prisoners,
for what, – that power might have it’s day! 
 
 
 
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Brief Visions of Contemporary Life. A Poem by Ian Irvine Hobson

I

This gaudy tourist beach
  retired scum of 
      exploit the poor 
      Australia. Playing
golf, faking orgasm, moved
  to pornographic
      cunt/cock fix. 
Sea change? 
  Take me
      back to the ghetto! Alive 
      and troubled.

II

If you work hard to
  privatise your
      testicles, lick
  the cum of 
      ‘benchmark’ and
      ‘quota’; you’ll
  accumulate enough super to
retire here,
      among the buggies
      and boredom.

III

All those four wheel drive
      pseudo - jeeps, with
  with bobbed blonde narcissists
      and three kids to
piano this, and soccer that
  dancing this and tutoring
  that —
such clumsy tanks on the roads
  at twilight 
  crawling home to their
McMansion garages. She
      eyes me like a
      night in the swamp.

IV

A morning where I want to 
   XXXX the world, want
to belch and fart 
   fumes of bodily liberation 
and laugh at the monkeys
   red - assed with scrofula. The 
monkeys off to their paper mausoleums 
   seeking adrenaline-junky highs
from contact sport, all 
   those sado - masochistic males
      banging into each other
      like painted fridges —
   millions of them, aiming between
      human goalposts. I

laugh at the monkeys, red - assed
      with scrofula.

 
 
Ian Irvine Photo

Ian Irvine is an Australian-based poet/lyricist, fiction writer and non-fiction writer:
 
His work has featured in many Australian and international publications, including Fire (UK) ‘Anthology of 20th Century and Contemporary Poets,’ (2008) which contained the work of poets from over 60 nations. His work has also appeared in a number of Australian national poetry anthologies, and he is the author of three books and co-editor of many more (including Scintillae 2012, an anthology of work by over 50 Victorian and international writers and poets). He currently teaches writing and literature at Bendigo TAFE and Victoria University (Melbourne) and lives with fellow writer Sue King-Smith and their children on a 5 acre block near Bendigo, Australia.
 
Links related to his work are as follows:
 
http://authorsden.com/ianirvine
http://www.scribd.com/IanHobson
 
 
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Housing. A Poem by Frederick Pollack

 
 
 
Dead poets wake in a tremendous castle,
all dark beams, fireplaces, stone stone stone.
Pop-era people flash on Middle-earth,
but older types (like Byron, deadly with boredom)
set them straight. They point out and explain
runes, the wolf and ouroboros
motifs, the giant scattered meadhorns
and outsized chairs – this is
Valhalla. Someone academic, peering
through a window-slit at a misty waste,
asks where the heroes are, who train by hacking
each other apart all day, then drink all night?
Not to mention the Valkyries …
And Coleridge, more than usually stoned,
laughs, Do you think someone would fight for us?
(At which Petőfi and D’Annunzio
frown.) But now the latest crop of dead
nag about dinner. Since most of the place is a freezer
and always full, they’re well-supplied
with venison and auroch, though Marianne Moore
says yet again she would kill for a salad.
Something possesses Ashbery, who tries
to pull an ornamental sword
from a wall, and collapses. Where –
someone asks inevitably – are the gods?
But not even the oldest inmate,
not Pound or the Beowulf-poet, knows
they are off forever trashing the Cabaret Voltaire.

 
 
Frederick Pollock 1
 
 
Author of two book-length narrative poems, THE ADVENTURE and HAPPINESS, both published by Story Line Press. A collection of shorter poems, A POVERTY OF WORDS, forthcoming in 2015 from Prolific Press. Has appeared in Hudson Review, Salmagundi, Poetry Salzburg Review, Die Gazette (Munich), The Fish Anthology (Ireland), Representations, Magma (UK), Iota (UK), Bateau, Fulcrum, etc. Online, poems have appeared in Big Bridge, Hamilton Stone Review, Diagram, BlazeVox, The New Hampshire Review, Mudlark, Occupoetry, Faircloth Review, Triggerfish, etc. Adjunct professor creative writing George Washington University.

 
 
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Mascot. A Poem by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

 
The cheerleaders
raise a baby elephant over their heads
They are deceptively strong
from years of gymnastics, weightlifting
and cheering
 
Their cheering is so powerful
the other teams default in fear
The cheerleaders’ teams are the champions
without ever dribbling a ball
or giving or receiving a concussion on the gridiron
 
If opponents dare show up
they throw the baby elephant at them
mow them down like
bowling pins
 
The elephant hates this
hates his life
but he tolerates it
 
He knows it’s better than ‘growing up
to be killed for ivory
 
 

Mitchell Poet
 
 
Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois’ poems and fictions have appeared in hundreds of literary magazines in the U.S. and abroad. He is a regular contributor to The Prague Revue, and has been thrice nominated for the Pushcart Prize. His novel, Two-Headed Dog, based on his work as a clinical psychologist in a state hospital, is available for 99 cents from Kindle and Nook or as a Print Edition
 

 
 
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