To The Reader July 15, 2008Posted by Mark Folse in cryptic envelopment, Dancing Bear, New Orleans, Toulouse Street.
Tags: 504, boredom, ennui, heat wave, hookah, hot, New Orleans, NOLA, readers, Toulouse Street
“I am tired. I am weary
I could sleep
for a thousand years.”
– Velvet Underground
I am so tired lately. I’m just crawling out from under some respiratory illness but could not miss work last week, so all you see around here on Toulouse Street are some lazy You Tubes, a perfect analog of my situation: collapsed on the porch, listening to music and trying to read. Words rattle around in my head, but I’m too tired to make them come out here. I slouch in my plant hidden chair watching the fan whir like a helicopter turbine. Still, we go no where. The ice water glass drips cool condensation into my hand and I wipe my forehead with the icy balm, but I just can’t seem to drag myself out of that first heat wave lethargy. At the same time, I seem to be spending more effort at PBB, which is something for me but perhaps not for you, mon sembable — mon frere. And the subject of my last effort there, No. 14, is a poem about, well, boredom. At least my brain has not completely shut down. We seem to have a theme going, after a fashion.
And so I retreat into quoting, the refuge of the lazy blogger.
Among the vermin, jackals, panthers, lice,
gorillas and tarantulas that suck
and snatch and scratch and defecate and fuck
in the disorderly circus of our vice,
there’s one more ugly and abortive birth.
It makes no gestures, never beats its breast,
yet it would murder for a moment’s rest,
and willingly annihilate the earth.
It’s ENNUI! Tears have glued its eyes together.
You know it well, my Reader. This obscene
beast chain-smokes yawning for the guillotine —
you — hypocrite Reader — my double — my brother!
— Charles Baudelaire’s Au Lecteur (To the Reader) translated by Robert Lowell, from Marthiel & Jackson Matthews, eds., The Flowers of Evil (NY: New Directions, 1963) [and I changed boredom back to ENNUI. So shoot me. I was going to put the hookah back in but stopped myself.]