For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move. ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON

Saturday, 30 April 2011

In The Gutter

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars OSCAR WILDE Lady Windermere’s Fan

Heard the sound of a poet who died in the gutter BOB DYLAN A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall

Nostalgie De La Boue

Today give me no elegant literature:
No Eliza Bennet spurning Darcy at the dance,

No plotted intrigue, no fine romance,
No courtly love, no jousting knights, no maids
Distressed and pining in sylvan glades.

Today give me no hearts and flowers:
No wuthering heights, no blethering flights
Of fancy, no sweet sights
Of dresses sweeping over manicured lawns,
No rose metaphors, no rosy-fingered dawns.

Today I woke delirious from dreams.
So give me mad, bad books for a bitter mood:
Dorian Gray, Jude, Sexus, Edwin Drood,
Give me the twisted, bilious and obscene:
Gangantua and Pantagruel, Spleen.

Today I feel that decadence is virtue.
So give me the sins of Rimbaud and Verlaine,
De Sade for pain, Stevenson for cocaine,
Carver and Scott Fitzgerald for a booze-up,
Bukowski if there’s still more drink to use up.

Today just let me crawl along the pavement
Like Baudelaire, nostalgic in the mud,
Misheard, misread, misled, misunderstood.
Though didn’t Oscar Wilde at one time utter
You see the stars from lying in the gutter?

9 comments:

Dominic Rivron said...

Elegant - and good with it! Reminded me of the Maupassant stories I was reading the other day - all light and dark.

Ruth said...

I long for Bukowski too, most days, for I am two sides of one coin, with Eliza on one side, and Charles on the other.

The Solitary Walker said...

Thanks, Dom. I just love Maupassant.

Yes, the bile and the blood, to adopt your own poem's metaphor. I think I'll forego the leeches tonight - and just get a good night's sleep!

am said...

Yes. Raymond Carver. No blethering flights there.

http://agenbiteofinwit.com/gravy.html

The Solitary Walker said...

That's my favourite Carver poem, am.

am said...

He's a favorite poet of mine. These words, too, stay with me:

http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/show/69111

The Solitary Walker said...

Yes, I love that fragment too.

Friko said...

A, dear Walker, like that, is it?

Whatever it is, you got a brilliant poem out of it.

The Solitary Walker said...

Thanks for visiting, Friko!

Feel better now. (Only a temporary self-indulgent wallowing in the mud experience.)