Question & Answer 2 – George Elliott Clarke

Question 2

Do not write
for Kristine Kochanski
on Saturday nights.

– nobody works on
Saturday nights –

A hologram
of my mother burning
my family tree.

– that’d be a lovely
metaphor –

How do you kill
your spare time? I’ve
got shiny distractions.

– five fish? You’d
be rich –

– Aaron Kent

Answer 2

[The Odyssey of Ulysses X: Outtake]
(In memory of Sir Derek Walcott, 1930-2017:
The Adam of Decolonization)

While lizards fringed ceilings and clung next clefts,
…………I lingered with Circe,
lounged in her sun-scorched sand,
…………and tracked iguanas as they snacked on butterflies.
My hostess’s slit eyes signalled Disdain;
…………her thigh-slit skirt ignited Desire.

My men, too rambunctious to ramp
…………their lances into queans,
to take a tramp and take to bed,
………….quick became oinking hogs.
They chewed lotus,
…………and laid up with lottas*
in dug-outs no better than latrines.
…………Once Sensuality—satisfied—waned,
they became as melancholy
…………as torn apart Orpheus,
and now no better than swine—
…………wallowing in wet-sand seductions
executed by capricious nymphs
…………enthralled by a Capri moon,
while grey waves nickel-plated the beach.
…………The indescribable Nudity of
les belles dames sans merci

…………reduced my sailors to intolerable Lechery,
and speech that scaled from shrill Stupidity,
…………to growled Imbecility.
A once, good-looking society of soldiers
…………changed into greasy, porcine things,
as untamed as Degeneration.
…………Evolution gone perverse.

There’s no better-quality Torture
…………than to make a sailor go to ground,
grunting over slops and tripe,
…………and sniffing at turds,
or slurping up piss,
…………burying his snout in carcasses
and tusking through garbage.
…………Well, at least he no longer radiates rum,
but bears the hilarious smell of feces—
…………the comedic stench of Buggery
and leaves off the interminable swishing
…………of sails
before sea-winds,
…………to come into the humiliating Cemetery
that is Butchery
…………blood slickening blades
to bring on ruddy throw-up—
…………in a climate of tar and lather
and the monotonous Syntax of squeals
…………and howls.
Anyway, the tar-trotters are disemboweled
…………in their beds, while they sleep—
the result of antediluvian Corruption,
…………retrograde rotting.

My meddlesome mistress—
…………my bored, ironic adulteress—
Circe,
…………has had thrown at her
bouquets of tapering penises,
…………all pelting her crotch.
But she flung away the chalky white
…………examples of this male debris—
each would-be-polluting sinew,
…………each consecrated scream,
or fed these iconic scraps
…………of men to withered whores,
elderly and so now as pious as nuns.
…………The sucking of their jaws
rendered my own supper uneasy,
…………so that I lusted for the splintering of silver
on the wind-pecked sea,
…………to escape the plaster-white bounty
of cocks torn from a skyline of dried-out carcasses—
…………in a dark circumcision.
Circe shrugged and said,
…………“If you weren’t eating that lamb,
it would be eating grass.”
Love legislates Nihilism, clearly.

[Nanaimo (British Columbia) 22 octobre mmxv]
* Finnish: Women soldiers

– George Elliott Clarke

Question & Answer 1 – George Elliott Clarke

Question 1

Hammering buttons at wireless speeds,
still shaking rainbow dreams from old
skulls, the bleeding had leapt into my
asthma and screamed mercy through my
retina.

O20.9

…and she was golden and glorious
and running to the accident and emergency
unit. Round ligament, deep pain, everything
I never saw in a parent. Ten St Day Road took
all of

my dreams and

my nightmares to the back garden and pressed
an excuse to my temporal lobe. Doors
never open when night has suffocated the
presence from our tender embraces. Have you
felt

the world

fall from its axis? It took me to the deepest
three line whips of fetal stethoscopes, where
heartbeats lie dormant, back turned, hopes fading,
gentle beats surfacing. These things happen, do

not panic.

– Aaron Kent

Answer 1
[Claire Clairemont’s (Ventriloquized) Response (circa 1852)]

On the Spanish Steps,
I scrunched up my skirts,
And down he went on his knees.
On the Spanish Steps,
I skipped up my skirts,
And down dropped he to his knees.
My sassy French tongue
Teased his to sweet hurts:
Oh, Keats sighed, “No,” but Byron begged, “Please!”

Nasty French kisses,
Then Turkish delights,
Brought his French tickler into play.
Tasty French kisses,
Like Turkish delights,
Brought his French tickler out to play.
His attempt at Greek—
Cunning linguist bites—
Had me stewing tongues in Sodomy.

Those days are long gone;
Bliss were my lessons;
But Keats is dead, Shelley too.
On the Spanish Steps,
I was no virgin;
Now Keats is dead, Shelley too.
I stuck Byron’s heart
In the tickler tin,
For our single offspring’s pickled in dew.

– George Elliott Clarke