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The Bourbon Baudelaire: A Set of Variations

From: New England Review
Volume 34, Number 3-4, 2014
pp. 49-50 | 10.1353/ner.2014.0027

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Out of “La Vie antérieure”

Long-lived beneath vast porticoes
Tint of sun on ocean times one thousand burnings,
O great columns arrow straight, regal,
Resembling in construct caves of basalt evenings.

Image-swollen skies roll
Concealing something mystically
Almighty cloud-music overloading
Sunset colors reflected in my gaze;

That’s where I dwelled in calm sensuality,
Content in azure, waves’ splendors,
Naked slaves who will—must—
Get permeated with aromas, the scent of evil;

Who cooled my palms, knows,
So for shallow caves deepening
Painful secret of my languishing.
Who gets the raw deal here?

Out of “La Chevelure” (another enslavement poem)

Lamb-fleece ripple collar!
O nonchalant perfume
Ecstatic peopled orderly alcove
Asleep in head of hair to shake out.

Languorous Asia, Burning Africa,
Distance absent almost dead
Aromatic forest as other minds seek music
I swim on for perfume.

I will go under tree sap and name
Something in parrot’s chattering desire,
The canopy of beach umbrella shadow,
Starving sea dazzling nightmare souls and their masts.

Elongating export wealth, past sensual drinks
To satisfy the yearning Western urge,
Gliding vessels on silken waters open vastly
The glory of continental drift in shark lanes.

Eternity trembles outside whirlwind’s
Head-plunge, drunken lust, black ocean
Black sails othering me, patch of canvas
Rocking and craving leisure domes—Blue Hair!

Pavilion-stretched shadows return azure
Immense globular sky of velvet edges
Of locks twisted on coconut mats and spires,
Hand in your mane, scattering rubies, pearls, and sapphires

So that you’re never dead to my desire
O ominous dream? Or not? The ground
I guzzle memory from . . . ?

John Kinsella  

John Kinsella’s most recent books include the poetry collection Jam Tree Gully (W. W. Norton, 2012) and the collaborative work Redstart, with Forrest Gander (Iowa University Press, 2012). He is a Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge University, and a Professorial Research Fellow at the University of Western Australia.

Copyright © 2014 Middlebury College Publications
Project MUSE® - View Citation
John Kinsella. "The Bourbon Baudelaire: A Set of Variations." New England Review 34.3 (2014): 49-50. Project MUSE. Web. 28 Feb. 2014. <http://muse.jhu.edu/>.
Kinsella, J.(2014). The Bourbon Baudelaire: A Set of Variations. New England Review 34(3), 49-50. Middlebury College. Retrieved February 28, 2014, from Project MUSE database.
John Kinsella. "The Bourbon Baudelaire: A Set of Variations." New England Review 34, no. 3 (2014): 49-50. http://muse.jhu.edu/ (accessed February 28, 2014).
T1 - The Bourbon Baudelaire: A Set of Variations
A1 - John Kinsella
JF - New England Review
VL - 34
IS - 3
SP - 49
EP - 50
PY - 2014
PB - Middlebury College
SN - 2161-9131
UR - http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/new_england_review/v034/34.3-4.kinsella.html
N1 - Volume 34, Number 3-4, 2014
ER -


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