von Aschenbach


Orchestrating the waves, lapping,
an adagietto, lapping:
a choleric miasma seeps
in mellifluous ululation
(die Einhüllungwellen).

New centuried heat creates, then dissipates desire,
drenches, and then stifles you
in frenzied dreams, sickly sweet.
Dozing to Apollo, waking to Dionysus.

The secret disease scrapes along disinfected streets;
a green air awash with knowledge unshared.
It queasily tugs your sleeve, and begs-
Return to Reason.
But for love you risk everyone else’s all-
becoming the ghost-written author of your fate.

Ignoble von Aschenbach.
Beyond reckoning-
beach-sat.
Canute on a hot deck-chair.
Now welcoming,
Cologne-bedecked,
painted, hair-dye dripping
(le onde dell’avvolgimento)

and turning,
the ghost of you Sun
stares in flaming indifference.

One last wave.
Youth saying goodbye.

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