Along the old alleyway, all of the hovels conceal
Secret debauches, behind shades tightly drawn
While the midday sun beats down with a headmaster’s zeal
Upon the old rooftops and yellowing lawns
I’m absorbed in my own campaign
Sniffing each corner for the chance of a tune
Catching my toe on some old refrain
Untangling rhymes in the long afternoon

Greener of leaves, our bright and risen protector
Charms both roses and worms to wriggle out of the clay
Fills up our buzzing blockheads with honey and nectar
And evaporates all of our troubles away
He restores youth to the hobbled and lame
To skip along sweet as a child through the heather
He commands crops to grow strong in their fame
Kept safe in the heart that will bloom on forever

When he descends down into our poor quarter
To raise up the fortunes of the wretched and callous
He slips in quiet like a King without courtiers
To visit alike every sick ward and palace

Translated by Chris Schoen
[Original poem here.]

How all the scarlet lovers vowed
To leave none of their joys unspoken
Now look at me, my arms are broken
For I had dared to clasp a cloud

Thanks to every star but one
Gleaming in the deepest skies
The only lights my scalded eyes
Can see are memories of the sun

It all seemed to be mine for the taking
The bosom and the heart of space
And then an eye of fire–what is this place?
Suddenly my wings are breaking

By beauty I am burned to dust
Never to intone the prayer
Christening the inky Nowhere
Where I will always lie in rest

Translation by Chris Schoen
[See the original poem here.]

What does God do with that stream of curses
Rising each day to the Seraphim?
A tyrant bloated on meat and juices
Who falls asleep while we plead with him. 
The sobs of martyrs and the tortured
Must seem to him a pretty symphony 
Since despite the pain and blood it costs us
The Lord will crave more eternally

O! Jesus! Remember in the olive trees
When in your simplicity you prayed and blessed
Him who in Heaven laughed at the sound
Of nails being driven into your flesh? 

Did your thoughts fall back into the past
When you were told of His eternal promise?
You rode through town upon your stinky ass
Your fingernails and beard all caked with hummus. 
You swelled with courage, were filled with hope
And whipped those merchants with a vengeance. 
You thought you were their master, you stupid dope
And now you must suffer for your ignorance! 

When my time comes I’ll be quite satisfied
To leave a world lovely only when we sleep. 
I’ll live by the sword and by the sword I’ll die. 
Saint Peter denied his master reasonably. 

–Translated by Bradley Grant Smith

[Original poem here.]

Tell me does your heart ever try to fly away, Agatha?
Far from the green waters of this filthy city
To an island blue and magical
With waters of untouched virginity?
Tell me does your heart ever try to fly away, Agatha?

The sea, the endless sea consoles us in our prison
Some demon taught the sea to sing and the winds will let us listen
To lullaby our greasy eyes to sleep.
The sea, the endless sea consoles us in our prison.

O, how far off you are, and how far you’ll always be
My sweet dream of paradise
Where blue skies keep watch over our love
And each thing we’ve loved we’re allowed to love twice
Where the sinking heart can kiss the sky above
O, how far off you are, my love

O, love was like Heaven in those early days
Singing and kissing, asleep in the flowers
Behind the hills above the violins played
Carrying magic through the moonlit hours
O, love was like Heaven in those early days

That innocence I’m always longing for
Is it farther off now than my own end?
Through no human cry can the past be restored
No song I sing will ever bring it back again.
The innocence I’m longing for
The innocence I’m longing for
The innocence I’m longing for
The innocence I’m longing for

–Translated by Bradley Grant Smith

[Original poem here.]

Sympathetic Horror

From that dark and twisted sky
As bleak as what is yet to be
Descend into your empty life
What thoughts? Playboy, answer me!

I love to live where its dark and unstable
I’ll not whine like Ovid, chased from some happy fable

And your dark, red rays reflect
The Hell my heart has come to expect
Loves and respects

–Translated by Bradley Grant Smith

[Original poem here.]

I know more than if I’d lived a thousand years
Open your drawers filled with plastic souvenirs
Old journals pens and maps of city streets
Broken watches, restaurant receipts
My sad brain holds more than all these things you have hid
Buried in the sand; An undiscovered pyramid

With more dead than a dark collective tomb
I am a mass grave unmolested by the moon
Filled with ravening worms that track their necrotic prey
Their successful hunt brings my sweet corpse’s slow decay

I’m an old dusty boudoir filled with brown crusty roses
And outmoded dresses hung in moth-eaten poses
Where a faded Kinkade lighthouse watches the room
Absorbing open old stale deserted perfume

Nothing drags on like these endless days
I limp down the trail as the snow melts away
So boredom, that fruit of our sad apathy
Can germinate, blossom, and ripen eternally

Your time’s done, epoch of the breath and skin
What once was flesh is marble in the scouring wind
Unmoving in the hazy desert night
The Sphinx sits staring, eyes bereft of sight
Deep in the Sahara, her neck cranes from a dune
With the setting of the sun she finally sings this tune:


–Translated by T-Roy Martin

[Original poem here.]

January hates the whole god-damn town
Spits out the icy wetness of her black disdain
On the pale corpses waiting in the cemetery ground
And the sorry living forced to face the sleet and rain

My poor old cat growls, as she’s wandering the floor
Seeking only comfort from her mangy coat
A dead poet howls, pacing right outside my door
Cursed to fail to speak with his ethereal throat

There’s a distant sub-woofer as the heat kicks on
The clock on the mantle clucks right along
As the cards are shuffled I can smell the stale perfume

Of a woman, quiet sickly and long-gone
The red Jack of Hearts and the black Queen of Spades are drawn
They sneer in rueful memory of their lost love’s doom

–Translated by T-Roy Martin

[Original poem here.]