Travels With Lady Day

(From the diaries of Thane Dimatims…)

I’ve never smoked opium, but I’ve traveled
To the Far East in my dreams, aboard ships
Manned with prostitutes and hustlers dressed in white
Each running with his head cut off, in the grip

Of fevers various. The evening wind
Touseled the hair of Lady Day, who lay
In a daze on a blanket by my bed.
The huge Pacific blue lay overhead

Like an ocean upturned into the sieve
of sky (a magnolia in her hair
as always), drenching us in azure light.
These dreams always left me like a siezure

Spent, abandoned to fantastic musings,
Able to pass days at a time in a trance
Of cloak-and-dagger. Like Tom Sawyer, I
Balanced footsteps of my friend’s vitus-dance

Searching out treasure in the sierra
Of my obliterated consciousness.
Nights vanished in the drunkenness of time,
Mothwings evaporated into dust.

Into this doomed cradle my mother bore
Her only child who, by the age of ten
Dictator and diplomat interfamilias
Extraordinaire. Such sorrows from a pen!

The world, the world…who can speak of such things
as “the world”? Who knows the world? Who has lived
enough to have the right to write such words
as “the world”? No, I’ve never seen the world,

only the bright lights beyond the harbor
twisting along the shoreline of my dreams.
These I’ve called “the world”. And Lady Day?
She’s thrown herself overboard…what more can I say?

Marc Alan Di Martino

1 Response to “Travels With Lady Day”

  1. 1 Borja January 7, 2008 at 5:39 pm

    Precioso, de veras.

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Contrasting Views

"Literalism is a feature of boorish translators." Cicero "The clumsiest literal translation is a thousand times more useful than the prettiest paraphrase." Nabokov

The Faerie Queene

"John Ashbery said reading the Faerie Queene was like reading an endless beautiful comic strip." Kenneth Koch

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January 2008

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