Monday, May 18, 2009

A Cloud in Trousers

Your thoughts,
dreaming on a softened brain,
like an over-fed lackey on a greasy settee,
with my heart's bloody tatters I'll mock again;
ill-mannered and caustic, I'll mock to excess.

Of grandfatherly tenderness I'm devoid,
there's not a single grey hair in my soul!
Thundering the world with the might of my voice,
I’ll walk by — a handsome,
twenty-two-year-old.

Gentle ones!
You lay your love on a violin.
The crude lay their love on a drum.
but you can't, like me, turn inside-out entirely,
and nothing but human lips become!

Out of chintz-covered drawing-rooms,
come and learn-
decorous bureaucrats of angelic leagues.

and you whose lips are calmly thumbed,
as a cook turns over cookery-book leaves.

If you like-
I'll be furiously flesh elemental,
or - changing to tones that the sunset arouses -
if you like-
I'll be extraordinary gentle,
not a man, but - a cloud in trousers!
- Vladimir Mayakovsky (1893-1930)

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