Friday, September 15, 2006

The versions here are Not Final: Three Drafts

#The first draft is always shit - Ernest Hemingway
#Writing is rewriting - Anon
#A doctor buries his mistakes, and lawyer imprisons his, but an editor [read blogger] puts his on the front page [read internet]. - my version of a quote by that very prolific and brilliant writer, Anon.

HIROSHIMA (DRAFT 3, CURRENT VERSION)

Forty, for a woman, they say, is Hiroshima,
Fifty, perhaps, would be Nagasaki,
And History the helpless audience destined
To witness the bio-illogical warfare.

It is like watching a dance,
Planted on the feet at dawn
As it shrivels at noon
Into a self-conscious shuffle.

It is like watching a perplexed man step gingerly
Around the sealed tomb of his living wife.
Seeking the music he used to take for granted.

Forty, for a woman, they say, is Hiroshima,
Fifty, perhaps, would be Nagasaki.
Sex at seventeen is Sodom, and an orgasm at seventy
Is a visa to the Republic of Gomorrah

But for you, her husband, sex at seventeen
Is sunrise;
And an orgasm at seventy is prophylaxis

For prostate cancer. Eventually,
Everything before forty turns out for you
To be The Lost, Irrelevant City of Atlantis,
Herald of a new civilisation.

HIROSHIMA (DRAFT 2)

I
Forty, for a woman, is Hiroshima,
Fifty, perhaps, would be Ground Zero,

And History is the outraged audience destined
To witness the bio-illogical warfare,

The timed dance, which soon shrivels
Into a self-conscious shuffle.

II

Forty, for a woman, is Hiroshima,
Fifty, perhaps, would be Ground Zero.

Sex at seventeen is Sodom, and an orgasm at seventy
Is a visa to the Republic of Gomorrah

Forty, for a woman, they insist,
Is Hiroshima. But for you, her husband,

Sex at seventeen is sunrise;
And an orgasm at seventy is prophylaxis

For prostate cancer. Eventually,
Everything before forty turns out for you

To be The Lost, Irrelevant City of Atlantis,
Herald of a new civilisation.

HIROSHIMA (DRAFT 1: EARLIEST VERSION)

I

Forty, for a woman, they say, is Hiroshima,
Fifty, I’d add, would be Nagasaki’s hot breath,

And History is the outraged audience destined
To witness the bio-illogical warfare.

Her dance is timed, soon it shrivels
Into a self-conscious shuffle

And a perplexed man steps gingerly
Around the sealed tomb of his living wife.

He seeks the music he used to take for granted,
Watching as silly small girls gather

And make themselves up,
Their mirror his beloved’s polished epitaph.

Forty, for a woman, they say, is Hiroshima,
Fifty, I’d add would be Nagasaki’s foot mat

Sex at seventeen is Sodom, and an orgasm at seventy
Is a visa to the Republic of Gomorrah

Forty, for a woman, they keep saying,
Is Hiroshima. But for you, her husband,

Sex at seventeen is sunrise;
And an orgasm at seventy is prophylaxis

For prostate cancer. Eventually,
Everything before forty turns out for you

To be The Lost, Irrelevant City of Atlantis,
Herald of a new civilisation.

Inspiration for "Hiroshima"
"For a woman, said Jacqueline Susann (not one of [Jane Austen's] more distinguished literary descendants), "forty is Hiroshima". Miss Austen would have agreed, but, on the evidence of Persuasion, would have located the catastrophe at 27."
- Excerpt from John Sutherland's Guardian (UK) article "Look and Learn"

3 comments:

Anastasia said...

interesting... however i am not in a position to offer constructive criticism - my poetry skills are limited, menus literary analysis should i say?

anyhow, keep it up!

BOA said...

nottoworry, anastasia, thanks very much for stopping by, and encouraging the blogger :)))

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