When the boy's head, full of raw torment, Longs for hazy dreams to swarm in white, Two charming older sisters come to his bed With slender fingers and silvery nails. They sit him at a casement window, thrown Open on a mass of flowers basking in blue air, And run the fine, intimidating witchcraft Of their fingers through his dew-dank hair. He listens to their diffident, sing-song breath, Smelling of elongated honey off the rose, Broken now and then by a hiss: saliva sucked Back from the lip, or a longing to be kissed. He hears their dark eyelashes start in the sweet- Smelling silence and, through his grey listlessness, The crackle of small lice dying, beneath The imperious nails of their soft, electric fingers. The wine of Torpor wells up in him then — Near on trance, a harmonica-sigh — And in their slow caress he feels The endless ebb and flow of a desire to cry.
A Season in Hell
A while back, if I remember right, my life was one long party where all hearts were open wide, where all wines kept flowing.
One night, I sat Beauty down on my lap.—And I found her galling.—And I roughed her up.
I armed myself against justice.
I ran away. O witches, O misery, O hatred, my treasure's been turned over to you!
I managed to make every trace of human hope vanish from my mind. I pounced on every joy like a ferocious animal eager to strangle it.
I called for executioners so that, while dying, I could bite the butts of their rifles. I called for plagues to choke me with sand, with blood. Bad luck was my god. I stretched out in the muck. I dried myself in the air of crime. And I played tricks on insanity.
And Spring brought me the frightening laugh of the idiot.
So, just recently, when I found myself on the brink of the final squawk! it dawned on me to look again for the key to that ancient party where I might find my appetite once more.
Charity is that key.—This inspiration proves I was dreaming!
"You'll always be a hyena etc. . . ," yells the devil, who'd crowned me with such pretty poppies. "Deserve death with all your appetites, your selfishness, and all the capital sins!"
Ah! I've been through too much:-But, sweet Satan, I beg of you, a less blazing eye! and while waiting for the new little cowardly gestures yet to come, since you like an absence of descriptive or didactic skills in a writer, let me rip out these few ghastly pages from my notebook of the damned.