Monday, June 22, 2009

The Trickster of Seville

Quand Don Juan descendit vers l'onde souterraine
Et lorsqu'il eut donné son obole à Charon,
Un sombre mendiant, l'oeil fier comme Antisthène,
D'un bras vengeur et fort saisit chaque aviron....

At his passing
Don Juan proffered
a subway token--
fare for the boatman
on the River Archeron.
The boatman accepted
with an enigmatic smile
and served the Don
no more than he had bought--
a bottle of cheap red
of the glass
of Forgetting.
Don Juan offered thanks
and closed his eyes ---
willing the
the embrace of the fog.

Don Juan's hell
was a fine old wine
made bitter by the
reminiscence of
past loves discarded

the rue and regret
of too many roads taken

the realization that his life
held less substance than
the alchemic cloy

of a funerary rose.

Eternity to pay
for the passionate sadness
in Doña Ines' eyes
and a token given in jest
to the boatman
on the River Archeron.

(image: La Barca de Caronte, Eric Martin Contreras)