I. Son’s Electric Kazoo Waltz
The System is the Solution.
Bell, the next best thing to ablution.
The Joy of Sex, a bestseller,
no doubt to be found
any middleclass kitchen next to the cereal box –
today Mother will stuff soybeaned-beef into prophylactics
for supper while she hums, mumbles and murmurs –
perhaps wooing the icebox.
Lately she hardly ever talks
about anything but equality for dames –
she keeps a list in her brassiere of emancipated names
which she sputters,
while Pop, a traditional Hero: that is, the usual breadwinner
with a malfunctioning, though stylish, joie de vivre
on Saturday mornings for 5 minutes after breakfast,
as he butters
a cinnamon donut hole with a white plastic knife.
Under a red and rolling sky
as haunted as a Rorschach blot
Energy finds the middle eye
and gleans the epiphanal polyglot.
Now rose, now lavender and gold,
the clouds combust and burn away
shimmering light bursts through: behold —
the awakening we call day.
O, this grey pulpy mass of brain
like a recalcitrant ghost
ratlles the mental window pane
where dull memory stands engrossed.
Yet is shaken from sleep again
as the Sun rises like the blessed host
and gives the middle eye a toast.
- John Kendall Hawkins
On an overcast day
a sunflower droops his head to snooze
and dreams nervously of his idol.
When I wake up
and drowsily lift my face
will I see your flashing eyes?
When the springtime shows up with its sunshine,
Then the little flowers burgeon and bloom;
When the moon begins her luminous course,
Then the little stars swim in behind;
When the poet sees two sweet little eyes,
Then songs gush forth from the depths of his soul;–
But yet songs and stars and little flowers
And little eyes and moonlight and sunshine,
No matter how pleasing all this stuff is,
It’s far from being the whole world.
-Heinrich Heine, Buch der Lieder (1827), trans. John Kendall Hawkins approx. Summer 1974.