When I was young and had no sense
In far-off Mandalay
I lost my heart to a Burmese girl
As lovely as the day.
Her skin was gold, her hair was jet,
Her teeth were ivory;
I said, 'for twenty silver pieces,
Maiden, sleep with me'.
She sits in the tawny vapour
That the City lanes have uprolled,
Behind whose webby fold on fold
Like a waning taper
The street-lamp glimmers cold.
A messenger's knock cracks smartly,
Flashed news is in her hand
Thus from a mixture of all kinds began,
That het'rogeneous thing, an Englishman:
In eager rapes, and furious lust begot,
Betwixt a painted Britain and a Scot.
Whose gend'ring off-spring quickly learn'd to bow,
And yoke their heifers to the Roman plough:
From whence a mongrel half-bred race there came,
With neither name, nor nation, speech nor fame.
In whose hot veins new mixtures quickly ran,
Between the computer, a pencil, and a typewriter
half my day passes. One day it will be half a century.
I live in strange cities and sometimes talk
with strangers about matters strange to me.
I listen to music a lot: Bach, Mahler, Chopin, Shostakovich.
I see three elements in music: weakness, power, and pain.
The fourth has no name.
I read poets, living and dead, who teach me
tenacity, faith, and pride. I try to understand
the great philosophers--but usually catch just
I have always aspired to a more spacious form
that would be free from the claims of poetry or prose
and would let us understand each other without exposing
the author or reader to sublime agonies.
In the very essence of poetry there is something indecent:
a thing is brought forth which we didn't know we had in us,
so we blink our eyes, as if a tiger had sprung out
and stood in the light, lashing his tail.
How wonderful our world
of ingrained peace and tranquillity
with lives of eternal happiness,
As the lives that we live are carefree
And by the way, my best friend is called irony
How great our climate
Because man, in his creativity, has made gases
that fills our atmosphere
Trapping heat from the sun
Sinners are always mentally stronger
While the strong turn mostly sinners.
Secular forces are the communal pawns
Violence and conflicts are social sores.
Women boldly flaunt their macho look
While men show their feme demeanors.
Most of the rich are poor by their heart
In my infinite wisdom
I tell you this thing,
In this here my kingdom
Will the pendulum swing;
One minute the Kurds
So cute in their garb,
The other the Turks
With their venomous barb.
My first I wed when just sixteen
And he was sixty-five.
He treated me like any queen
The years he was alive.
Oh I betrayed him on the sly,
Like any other bitch,
and how I longed for him to die
And leave me young and rich!
My second is a gigolo
Since I have come to years sedate
I see with more and more acumen
The bitter irony of Fate,
The vanity of all things human.
Why, just to-day some fellow said,
As I surveyed Fame's outer portal:
"By gad! I thought that you were dead."
Poor me, who dreamed to be immortal!
But that's the way with many men