Mark DuCharme

After Vallejo 1

Hasty day, in whose vulva have you been carrying stones?
Definitive nacre of thought balloons
Like a jug of crimson Yodas
Demotic, with olive eyes

Hasty day, in whose vulva do you sometimes prognosticate
With the frank scrotum of your cohort, Margo?
Bozo, o bozo, my purple Nintendo,
Quell umber ha ha’s like Sir Bonzo’s latest sin embargo!

Hasty day, hasty day, in whose vulva hast thou made
An animal of soy-based water balloons
Of nouveau bravo grande meningitis?
Like dingo infinitives, frank dido entries— O formative dada lost!

After Vallejo 2

Ypsi disputes a tantra makeover
Until no more sobriquets enliven our palladiums
& Izzy deepens our lost sense of self, alas, in dolorous pajamas
While in sober revival, all parakeets parade
It’s iMac valor envy day, Dad!
Queue all common soloists, livid togas, & abecedarian form

Harbor nascent, para-vivid western myrtle
Leave & tar the ceiling with tiaras
Pour yourself a proper wonder
Why explain a moment’s apathy with somber tubas?
iMac cauldons… francoamerican wilderness rescue…
Queasy, low, common toadies… more dada, please!

Ypsi disputes tantric history, suckers!
No eternity, sorry!
Since desecrated, sensible cozies come & stare
In case, you pervert, caviar
While Ypsi lunges in the country
In defunct primavera vividness
A jaguar for the alternate, lost asters
Pure pain & plenty of eyelash (munch)
Dull panel; it’s a valid entry
Queasy, low & common to-do deadened logo

Sedition without tenements?
Under the direct observation of street vendors
Tambourine enamel others, & eyes
Like a yen of lost doers, quantum mirage, many pencils
Ensconced! Clerestory majuscule! Effacing! No palaver!

After Vallejo 3

Okay me? An azure daiquiri or harsh pencil
Amid Creole stigmas, pronto al dente

Okay, me on a lost day with pesto
While lone hombres heave fezzes up the mantra

Okay, Dad, what gives?
Are you sure the moon is yellow?

Okay me today an orange tango
Wildly aromatic

Okay, medium, use your saber of me-me progenitors
In imperial carrels of deviant lean-tos

What, me dodo? Say ‘abracadabra’ to recent mirth
Lachrymose as a botched horizon

Okay, me! Ha ha, dada! What lorry will deliver my de rigueur provenance
To the river of pockmarks that he reads?

Okay, me— dad of vivid merde!

After Vallejo 4

My toy rind, my blood-curdle, my swollen guitar
In toto by far-fetched movies

An adequate air of remembrance & annihilation
Once upon a time
In hasty exigencies & culled lost pyramids

I hear that the weather is grand at your tribunal
Sink into your mute peregrinations of chalk & bone.

Tree sound. Parallel treasure
Barbaric as longstanding beards
It’s March       3rd        3rd        3rd

Or not, in the unannounced time of grand seizure
A temple, declassified
Bland like new moons        in death’s blare

The four “After Vallejo” poems are mistranslations (also called homophonic translations) of randomly chosen poems from the bilingual 1978 edition of César Vallejo’s The Complete Posthumous Poetry, translated by Clayton Eshleman and José Rubia Barcia. In choosing the poems, which are not chronologically ordered, I looked at the Spanish originals, rather than rereading the translations. I do not read or speak Spanish.
“Not odd in the meaning rapidly” —Gertrude Stein The whole thing fits into a community framework Lost in muddled gardens Peppered with fine rain As if an archetype, a fact of leaving Leave the whiskey ’til tomorrow The jagged moon is through with you Upright, indwelling The catalogue is also wrong Many had been still before Though we are all not you In constraints to mean or spill things rapidly Whose color is not anymore In a language of violation & of bone Chain, rock, belief All the colors needed If you are sensible, & strewn with gardens Despair is all we ask for A freestyle roadmap, spilled with wrong Invective, grief. ‹‹›› Many had been through before Though we are still not you Who mean before & Spill the picture Yes, until you do Except when consorting with people Whose color is not where you are Except for consorting with rain The protagonists glaze over In a language of convenience Filled with unknown tools Chain, rock, bone Maybe this is how you read If you are sensible & strewn with gardens In bright photos laughing I think you should start with your mind & move outward There’s one dead link, but I won’t let go Nobody fully understands Formed of reeds Once private Raking interference Programmed silence Down unmapped streets When earth is silent rage A bleak infinite, or infinitive Forestalled words, deadened verbs No one ever unmasks The Dreamer In fields you do not sow ‹‹›› I incline banking Man hat Coolidge Man hat Man hat Man hat Points Chin Pecked places Man hat This which Man hat Just be Sons Just be Man hat Wired skin The lea e.e. cummings KY jelly Rack Chin Alpha Peace is within Chain Rack Key Man hat Man hat Awful Lice Alpha Ere Sons’ Alfalfa Manhandling The wedded In bland Business Baleful vegan scarecrows Who spill this wish Keys, keys, ruckus Chin & ruckus Mango headset Alfie Late blather Shout!
This poem is inspired by, & its title comes from, Gertrude Stein’s “IIIIIIIIII,” collected in Geography and Plays (1922). The third section of my poem is loosely derived from the section titles of that work.
Mark DuCharme is the author of We, the Monstrous: Script for an Unrealizable Film, Counter Fluencies 1-20, The Unfinished: Books I-VI, Answer, The Sensory Cabinet and other works. Scorpion Letters will be published as a chapbook by Ethel in 2022. His poetry has appeared widely in such venues as BlazeVOX, Caliban Online, Colorado Review, Eratio, First Intensity, Indefinite Space, New American Writing, Noon, Otoliths, Shiny, Talisman, Unlikely Stories, Word/ for Word, and Poetics for the More-Than-Human World: An Anthology of Poetry and Commentary. A recipient of the Neodata Endowment in Literature and the Gertrude Stein Award in Innovative American Poetry, he lives in Boulder, Colorado.
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