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Quizzing the Anonymous
Ignoramus et ignorabimus
Translation as blasphemy. 4 
25th-Mar-2006 06:33 pm
thinking
1-2-3

Две ипостаси

Let us begin ab ovo, from the cradle
Which is the origin, the genesis, the start,
The source of all that’s burdening my soul at this late hour.
I would not be deceitful, furtive, sly
Like a barefaced liar, faker, maladroit
Prevaricator, fabricator, crook.
He can make faces – him, the expert, the pedant,
The judge, the arbiter, the critic, the appraiser –
He will be wrong. Alas, you’re like him, too:
A hypocrite, a bigot, a Tartuffe,
So stop that grumbling, railing, chiding,
Complaining; time to quit, to part the ways,
To bid farewell, finish, and withdraw.

Thus, to the point. In that inceptive cradle
There was a child, a tot, a fruit of loins,
A baby boy, a weenie bairn, a tyke
That had both good and evil intertwined
In his emerging self. An addlepated shrink
Might’ve called such a condition a disorder –
They can distort, contort, misrepresent
Such things and also falsify, deform, belabor
And stretch the truth (or even pull your leg).

We won’t be wasting time on their malicious gossip,
Idle scuttlebutt, confabulation, hearsay
That reek of falsehood and defamation
Whose vile, foul, malod’rous stench
We’ll overcome, surmount, overwhelm
And rout by adherence to the truth
That will prevail, subdue, persist, preponderate,
Withstand, conquer, and triumph - in the end.

There, in that cradle ab ovo lived a libertine,
A rake, a roué, a debauchee – and he was my sweetheart,
My idol, my Baal, my paragon, my doll,
He was my dear, darling, my beloved,
My precious, my flame, the vessel of my passion -
In which capacity he was the foundation,
The bedrock and the cornerstone of mine,
A pillar standing on the fundament uncracked.

He was good-looking, comely, dishy, fair, attractive,
Genteel and handsome, and at that he had
A temper that was gentle, mellow, benign,
Smooth, mild, supremely delicate and full
Of unpretentious grace, humility, and humbleness.
He was unclaimed by ladies; he was
A solitary knight, untended, unattended
Ascetic recluse, shy anachoret
That was marooned on boondocks, in the sticks,
At the backyard, alone in rustic backwoods.

I swear we made the perfect match
Of peaceful and harmonious disposition,
In which there was a union of likes,
A unison, a duet, an accord, the full concordance
Of lover’s minds and souls. All meals were happy meals
At our dinnertable, as we consumed, ate, devoured
Abundant meats, fish, foul, victuals, foodstuff
That he enjoyed. He was a gastronome.
Epicurean feasts, repasts, banquets, and orgies
He was acquainted with, as the excess in food
And drink in the explosive combination
With cloister’d life aren’t puzzling, enigmatic,
But common, ordinary, frequent, widely shared.

And did I love him for this very trait…
His greed and appetite, his lust, his zeal, his zest,
His sheer vivacity, élan, his thirst, his boyish gusto,
So it was only natural that I
Devoted all my tender loving care
To him. He was my charge, my onus, he became
The focus of my world, the fulcrum of my visage
And forethoughts and worries and fancies -
All was for him. And so, pray tell me where
Should I be pointing the accusing finger?
Who is the one to blame and to impeach?
What should I hope for? – What should I pretend?
Whom should I blaspheme to what dismal end?
Where should I turn for quiet and consolation?
Whom to accuse? Whom fault and whom arraign?

We must go back and start anew, ab ovo,
To find the little rift in the harmonious lute
That was the ending, the predestined failure
Of our union. What made it so embittered,
Endangered, embattled, persecuted,
Star crossed, tedious, unbearable, and dull?
What have engendered my loss, my deprivation,
The diminution and reversal of my fortunes?

The problem started there, in that cradle.
Its crux, its root, its key, its causation
Was the duplicity of nature so unlike
His better self, and it was the conceit,
Smug arrogance, pernicious innuendo,
Insinuation, parody, desire to lampoon,
To mock, to ape, to spoof, to ridicule.
That second "he" was but a bald baboon
Pilgarlic, toupee-less and callow alopecic
Whose words and deeds where those of a tyrant,
A despot, a dictator, a satrap,
A hangman, a tormentor, an oppressor,
A persecutor, blighter, pest, and cuss,

Who was at that a duff, an imbecile,
A dolt, a jerk, a nitwit, a retarded
Cretin, silly and obnoxious nincompoop,
Half-witted oaf and full-blown moron
Whom I have dared, ventured, and risked
To call just that - to gather in return
That it’s all rot, chaff, staff, and nonsense,
A tripe, a hogwash, hooey, taradiddle, -
The answer of a braggart, a swashbuckler,
A blowhard, a boastful rodomont, -
Such was his image, bearing, mode, demeanor.

In spite of this deformity he was
A Don Juan, a lecher, a satyr,
A Casanova, and a lewd wheremaster,
A seeker of voluptuous pursuits.
I liked that. That’s because unfreedom,
Meek servitude, captivity and bondage,
Subordination – all this filth and muck,
These loathsome and vain abominations –
Do serve quite frequently as feminine balsam,
A remedy, a cure, an elixir,
A febrifuge, a therapeutic bliss,
A pill, a self-delusion, a Chimera,
A substitute, a castle in the air.

I’m asking you, how could his better self,
The one that was inborn, all-natural, innate,
So suddenly go nuts, run berserk, run amok,
Snap, delirate - and in that frenzied state
Refuse, forswear, abandon and reject
My love, infatuation? - just like that:
Instinctively, unwittingly, without
Missing a beat, he’d come from nowhere,
The felon, the miscreant, the gallows bird,
The villain, the rogue ruffian, the thug.

It is the fact of life that one triumphant
Was that humbug, that cad, that scoundrel, cheat,
That Scaramouch, that boozer, and that wretch
Who was a bon vivant nevertheless.
Such things occur, they happen, they betide
Once in a while, infrequently, sometimes –
These are not fancies, imagination, or phantasms –
It is a question of the up-to-date importance,
Of relevance, of imminence, of note
Of much immediacy; a puzzle left unanswered:
There aren’t remonstrations or ripostes,

There’s only an echo, a reflection, a recurrence
Of our cries, hollers, shouts, yowls, and sobs,
So all that’s left are lies, fibs, untruth,
Decorous fables, concoctions of deceptions.
A flatterer, a toady, a servile
And obsequious sycophant, a pickthank,
A lisping adulator, limp cajoler, you
Can now grin, sneer, smirk; it’s time for having laughs:
Boy, can he giggle, chuckle, cackle, gag,
Jest, titter, snigger, chortle, and guffaw…

We do not need this roundabout talk,
This chitter chatter, prattle, persiflage.
The verse is speeding towards its curtailment,
Both hastily and quickly. It is time
For it to die of boredom and exhaustion,
To starve, to fail, to fade, to disappear.
I was not going to play pranks and silly tricks,
To romp, to frolic, to gambol, to rollick,
But nobody is taking me to task:
I won’t be chastened or given a reprove,
A censure, a rebuke, a reprimand:
All I can do is sit and cry aloud,
Weep, snivel, howl, blubber, wail,
Bleat, scream, screech, yelp,
And mutter lamentations…
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