Waste, the day
Ben Nevis, Glasgow
Belle de Jour

By Tom Schulz

Translation Donna Stonecipher

Waste, the Day

Whatever you do, do it
to cheerful forgetfulness:
it all blossoms with no memory at all

(behold the wild thyme
in the lumbar regions of a pre-Provençal night)

There is no haven in the haven
only the dew and the dewlaps

there is no longer no longer

There is no longer
the “sell by” sticker on a swordfish
in a seaman’s supply store

how deep is the ocean
(at an unclear spot
where the text has a screw loose
and the poet shit for brain-
sausage)

I cheat loss just as I cheated with
losses in the roadstead, where the rocking
made me nicker like a rapt taxi-nag

What you don’t let go of, let it go
into cheerful raptures

The forgetfulness of a street corner
which I was

like you in front of the ice cream parlor:
a jumbo shrimp with mint chocolate chip

The gnostic worm, the glow
-ing filaments of a streetlamp colony

Count me among the berries
Count me among the quinces

Make me flitter
against the flapping blackbird habit

Ben Nevis, Glasgow

You pointed at the whisky wall
with two fingers, Missy MacCallan

I was a squall from Islay
I came over from Lewis as a field of rain

In the glasses stood the holy
ghost, it lit up twice

my evil twin
caused Highland Park to quake
(but I’m an untraditional boy with no pipe)

Leave the salt-drunk sea its bliss
till the Bruichladdich lays the bar low

Pull the Bratentweed out of the Kelvingrove
and dance with me in Westend’s foolish bars

And the Kunst won’t talk to you

Doff your hat for the drinkers from the pier
my dear! They made a memorial

of our bench in the gardens of rampant
hemlock

Ivy, posthumously        don’t kilt me

We are two
minus two
martinis

Belle de Jour

She came on a day when the violets
pounced, the windows cast off
their crosses, God was once again
a moving violation

Toward heaven meant:
a black Friday, all the way down
to your underpants, the collapse
of all banks, people were burgling
their own homes, they vanquished
the threshold, it went from me to euphony
150 million or more

With the tip of the tongue
money was obliterated!

She came on a day when the roses
flew over the pond, when the legislature
went out the window, in bad
German she straightened out two stock marketeers

She went to town
the cypresses were cracking

And this was written to the dream:
God was once again
a supersonic machine

The first poem appears in Nick Grindell’s translation in no man’s land # 1
Originals © Tom Schulz
Translations © Donna Stonecipher