Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Two Translations from Carmina Burana

"Fortune plango vulnera"
no. 16

Fortune wounds me fatally;
My eyes are red and swollen,
For the gifts she gave to me
She has perversely stolen.
She’s a lovely sight indeed:
Her hair adorns her shoulders;
But when I reach the hour of need,
She’s balder than a boulder.

I used to sit on Fortune’s throne,
With fame, success, and power;
I was crowned with precious stones
And many-colored flowers.
All the earth was in my sights,
The happiest contender,
But now I tumble from the heights,
Deprived of all my splendor.

The Wheel of Fortune turns and turns,
And I go down, degraded;
Another to the top returns,
Too high to see unaided.
At the top, the King should fear
Ruin’s cold arena!
For written on the axis here


"Cur homo torquetur?"
no. 32

Why is there affliction?
To teach respect for jurisdiction.
Why is there affliction?
For social order and crime’s restriction.
Why is there affliction?
To honor the Crucifixion.
Why is there affliction?
To grant our guilt benediction.
Why is there affliction?
So we feel doubly our conviction.

Only God’s inclination
To His chosen grants elevation.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

anyone would

Why must I send forth
great, wailing sobs of anguish
for people to know
that I'm a bit unhappy?
Seeing a sad thing --
anyone would be sad, right?
If I say to you,
"I'm angry with you right now,"
why not believe me?
Don't make me terrify you
to prove that I feel.
The corner of my mouth lifts;
my nose flares slightly;
my eyes stay too wide too long --
with these already,
with the tension in my hands,
I've said everything.
Am I invisible? Or
am I unbelievable?

Friday, May 08, 2015

To Texas

Every morning
for the past week I've
spooned yogurt into the blender,
thrown in some frozen
raspberries or blackberries or
whatever--an attempt at
eating healthy for once--and I
remember the way your nose wrinkled each
time you saw a banana split, the
combination of milk and fruit aimed
perfectly at that part of you
that feels
digust. And I wonder if yogurt
is different, I wonder if you'd be
proud of me, I wonder
how well you're eating, and how well
you're being looked after. I know
he's looking after you.
I don't know how to say it,
other than I want to see
you every day, but there
are rules, and there are
ways we do things, and I
have never been strong enough to fight
--even if I had known what
I wanted. And I
don't call you, don't send emails, don't
have anything to say, except
do you still hate strawberry ice cream and
what does it feel like
to be happy