by Jeffrey Burghauser (September 2019)
La Baigneuse, Charles-Amable Lenoir
Yes, she would have been that allegoric nymph:
Litheness admixed with a tomboy’s countergrace.
But the girl was somehow…undermined:
Skin pigménted like digestive lymph,
Eyes of the refractive index one might find
In a water sample taken from a place
Over which thin chimneys loose their lace.
Suchlike features found their mirror in her head,
Disarranging her accustomed gait. The free,
Soft affective signature, the chord,
Whose unkempt assemblage would have said
Something of the lovely inclination toward
Clement, open, animal carnality
Came off simply feral. For, you see,
Ambiguity like this is often best
Gotten rid of when attempting to create
An economy, a girl, a meal,
A salvation. It’s the only test,
Though, the very precondition, of the hale,
True, correct, spell-wedging, insurrection-hot
Poem, which the present poem is not.
The Poem Addresses its Own Translator
Giving me your actual regard, you speed
To be fully overwhelmed by me. You pant
To be panting everywhere at once. You can’t.
No one wants to be translated by a god.
Jeffrey Burghauser is a teacher in Columbus, OH. He was educated at SUNY-Buffalo and the University of Leeds. He currently studies the five-string banjo with a focus on pre-WWII picking styles. A former artist-in-residence at the Arad Arts Project (Israel), his poems have appeared (or are forthcoming) in Appalachian Journal, Fearsome Critters, Iceview, Lehrhaus, and New English Review. Jeffrey’s book-length collection, Real Poems, is available on Amazon and his website is www.jeffreyburghauser.com.
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