Monday, November 21, 2011

The Drunken Orizaba

The Drunken Orizaba

The Drunken Orizaba
—for Hart Crane

“Drowned men sank
backwards into sleep!”
—Arthur Rimbaud,
“The Drunken Boat”

As I was sailing back to New York City—
I suddenly felt myself queered by a cute sailor
Moiling down there below the Orizaba’s deck

Surely gaudy young Mexicans had taken—
Enough of me up & down those pyramids of lust
Surely now it was time for a cute sailor?

Huge serpents, vermin-plagued—
Had dropped down their pants below deck
With black effluvium and contorted veins


I cared nothing for the rest of the crew—
Carrying American tourists and riffraff back
To the boring States they so adored

The azure Gulf of Mexico slid by—
With its ferocious Havana and gay tide-rips
Never have I endured such young macho!

A storm of bliss stirred my sea-borne—
Yearnings, lighter than a cork, I danced on the
Waves men call eternal rollers of victims


For long nights, foolish eyes & harbor lights!—
Sweeter than the flesh of fresh wiggly oysters
The young sailor penetrating my stained lips

Washing me clean of bluish wine-stains—
And the splashes of vomit, carrying me
Away both rudder and anchor down deep

Bathing my lips in the Poem—
Of the Sea, sperm-infused and churning
Into cream, entranced by pallid flotsam


Dreaming of other drowned men—
Suddenly going down into bluenesses
Slow rhythms under the gleams of moonlight

I came to know his slit, his waterspout—
Spitting with jawbreaker jets of jizz
Fermented sweet & sour bitternesses

And sometimes I have seen what men—
Have imagined they saw, turning away in
Shame, but I wanted to see it all!


I have seen how low-hanging testicles—
Heavy with long violet coagulations
Perform their very-antique melodramas

I’ve seen a young sailor’s face—
Rolling like waves back into distances
Shivering like Venetian blinds

I have dreamed of dark green nights—
With his eyes rising slowly out of the sea
Circumlocutions of undreamed-of saps


And the yellow-blue whitecaps of singing—
Phosphorus I have followed, for whole months on
End, flying fish battering my hysterical lips

Dreaming of luminous fleets of Titanics—
Forcing back the muzzles of snorkeling Queens
I’m stuck somewhere south of Key West!

His eyes of panthers in human skin—
His sneer holds back the sea’s horizon
Bridling the greedy herds of crabs

The enormous coastal swamps—
Seething where old leviathans are rotting
In the calm oozing abysses of slime

Where giant snakes devour humans—
Falling from twisted cypresses like dead
Spanish moss maidens with black odors!

Waves of cumly pearl, lips of red-hot coals!—
Hideous wrecks at the bottom of the gulf
Dead dolphins, flying fish far down below


Sometimes, I’m a mere martyr weary—
From all my sobbings sweetening my gringo
Sucking lips like a kneeling woman...

Once I was scudding down along the bottom—
When across my frayed cordage drowned
Sailorboys sank backwards into sleep!

But now I’m lost under sailorboy pubes—
Hurled by the hurricane into the ether
A wreck, dead-drunk and sodden with absinthe


Awake, smoking, rising from violet fogs—
I got bored with the walls of my ratty cabin
I craved young sweetmeat with azure snot

Below deck streaked with sea-horses—
I walked a crazy plank, skies of ultramarine into
The burning funnels of a young sailor’s smirk

How he trembled, feeling fifty leagues deep—
The groans of some Behemoth's rutting and
The dense Maelstroms of his manliness


Blue immobilities spinning for centuries—
Longing for Europe with it's aged old parapets
But I prefered the bottomless sailorboy’s loins

I tasted it, the yolk of chicken archipelagos—
The stars! and islands whose delirious skies
Are open to sailors, O Life Force of the future?

Did I sleep, exiled in bottomless Nights—
Millions of high screeching seagulls above me
But also down in swollen heartbreaking depths

Every sailor is atrocious, every sea is bitter—
Sailorboy love has filled me with heady languors
My poor knees, as I sink to the bottom!

Sleeping in his hammock below deck—
In the greasy twilight of the engine room
My young sailorboy bathed in fragile sadness

While a New York poet squatting in silence—
Loses all his pride, flags and pennants to
Undergo a tramp steamer’s slow undertow

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