INCOMPETENT TRANSLATION: “El Desdichado” by Gérard de Nerval

by a contributor

Bill Yarrow

I am twilight’s pissoir, the orphan’s
inclination. My star is dead; my constellation
crushed. The Prince of Aquitaine has fallen
and cannot rise. I am the shadow of waxwing slain.

In the tomb, in the outré tombe, I see
the Sea of Capri, the Hearse of Merci,
La Lune de Pantoum, La Place du Caprice.
Désolé! Désolé! Où le vinaigre et le vin sont un.

I am naked and red, cheri. Give me back
my color and my clothes. Give me back my
singularity, my tristesse, my photo ID.

She sits in a gondola and burnishes her arms.
She puts the piquant radish in her mouth.
She takes a loofa and wipes the rainbow from her neck.

Bill Yarrow is the author of Pointed Sentences (BlazeVOX 2012). He has been published in many print and online journals including ThrushDIAGRAMContrary, and RHINO. He is a Professor of English at Joliet Junior College where he teaches creative writing, Shakespeare, and film. Two chapbooks (Twenty from MadHat Press and Incompetent Translations and Inept Haiku from Červená Barva Press) are forthcoming in 2013.

Return soon for two more of Bill’s poems and his list of 5 Things.