Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Menelaus the Poet to the Translator

I always do like visitors, and as I've said before
I'm sure I feel like Christ did when they pulled away the stone.
Here's some bread and some retsina.
The woman here will make you anything you want to eat.
The view here of the docks from this window is quite striking
at a certain time of light.
There are books of course piled high in every room
but I'm afraid they're all in Greek.
I'm going to the brothel now, I won't return tonight.
I trust the questions of tense and tone and gender and stress
may occupy your mind.

I'd tell you all my secrets, but I'm afraid I have but one:
I'm not much of a poet, so my readers do the work.
I hope this fact will help you when my words turn up as ash;
they never were alive, you know, just magic on a page
that stayed long after the illusion was delivered.

About that inch of dust on all the furniture and paintings,
I assume you want things just the way they were
as you no doubt prefer these seedy accomodations
to the five-star inn down the street?
Don't think my disappearance reflects a lack of kindness.
I find the nicest people can be thousands of years old,
like wine they get more interesting with age.
So, stay, enjoy, think of my simple life and humble quarters
as your home away from home.
If anyone disturbs you, be it neighbors or landlady,
just say you understand me and they'll leave you quite alone.
To do what, I wish I knew, for I left that station long ago.
I find I miss the friends I could have had along the way.