Jules Laforgue

(1860-1887 / France)

October's Little Miseries - Poem by Jules Laforgue

Every October I start to get upset.
The factories' hundred throats blow smoke to the sky.
The pullets are getting fat
for Christmas Day.

So I'll bray at our bleached and atrophied souls
and melt a thousand icebergs over the old scrolls,
the frightened mysticisms
of religions.

Find a decent spirit? Pretty hard.
Legitimacy? Sure. It's a well-kept yard,
But who's gonna bless our kitchens
till the end?

I'll say my prayers again to the Ice Age Snow,
and cry to the wind, 'You too, you crooked old fart!'
'cause nothing'll take a load off you
like that.
(And with the Snow, falls pity. The withering kind.
Those folks you always see with the hearts of leather?
Someone should throw them a line,
but will they ever?)

So, yeah. You can tear at your ears, but it's a fool's sport.
'Cause nothing--not the seasons, art, the skies--
is worth two cents of skirt
and a pair of eyes.

Look, sweet. Two cents of skirt and a still-warm zipper
and two cents worths of looks and what comes after . . .
surely that's the remedy
for ennui.

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, September 25, 2010

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