11 September, 2000

The Wasted Hand

[The following is a parody of "The Burial Of The Dead" from T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land.]

The Wasted Hand
"The Burial Of The Living"

May is the cruellest month, needing
Explanations from dead words, fixing
Memory and desire, stirring
up trouble, sans feign.
Winter kept me warm, covering
Thoughts in forgetful minds, meading
A little life with false übers.
But May surprised me, anger over the Starnbergersee
With a downpour of pain; I stopped as I sought wade,
And could not move, though bright, into the half garden-
Half prison that is my future hour.
I am no liar, nor equivocater; it's truth.
And when we were children, staying at the arche-fluke's,
Satsuma's, I laid out on my bed,
And I was frightened. I said, D'you see?
D'you see? Hold on tight. Ill thoughts were sent
In the library, where one feels free.
I read, much during lunch, yet looked south, my books not lent her.

What are the roots that clutch, what stories flow
Out of this phony rubbish? God nor man
Cannot yet say, nor guess, for I know only
A heap of broken images, where the citrus meets,
And the dead band gives no music, the caf' no beef,
And the library no pleasure. Only
It is shallow under this harsh stock,
(Always giving of me such very harsh stock),
But I will show you something different from either
Your shallow thoughts of me, (not me), behind you,
Or my shallow truthful self, rising to meet you;
I will show you me, not a handful of lust.

"Frisch weht der Wind
Der Heimat zu!"

Verdammen Sie Sie, Kind!
I love you!

"You gave me that hug first six years ago;
You laid sleeping, on my arm, in a curl."
-- Yet when we came back, late, from Orlando, so far then,
My arms full, and your hair long, I could not
Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither
Living nor dead, and I knew nothing,
Looking into the heart of light, the silence.
The sea was not bare, but I -- I held fast in fear...

My damned stupidity, so keen and poignant,
Had a bad scold, nevertheless,
It won out again, nicest woman, for in up
There, where I always was then, there, (Oh, me!),
Is my shard of immaturity -- Nay! Lur-
Id black pearls of hated stook!
But here is Belladonna, the Lady of the Stocks,
The lady who stakes and shuns.
Here also is me, (with three slaves), and here I feel --
Not yonder with the one-eyed director, nor the retard.
Which is blank? Here (n)or there? I don't wish to go back.
Which are we forbidden to see? I do not find
Wreathed sea-girls, in the water.
I see crowds of sheep, walking round in a ring.
Damn me. If you talk to my dear on the phone,
Tell her I... ... No. No, I'll tell her myself.
Yes, I'll tell her -- one of these days.

Unreal pity,
Under the light smog of a city dawn,
A crowd herded-- but P was there! And when he
Stampeded, thought I: death has undone so many.
::sigh:: But P? Indecent, I assailed
Each sheep before me, letting loose quite a beat,
Going up the hill, right toward P's feet.
But there, faint parries could not keep the powers
From pushing me back, and the final stroke had me pine:
P! Here I see you? Stop! Stop, I say! Let some-
one talk who was with you back then when we were wee!
That sheep you planted last year in your garden,
It has begun to sprout! But why, why are you here?
Has the spaceship been docked in its wed?
Oh, I've not kept the sheep far hence, and it is such a sin!
I'm dying, yet he hails nil but himself again....
You! hypocrite lecteur! -- mon semblabe, -- mon frère!