Friday, January 6, 2006
— Poetry & Lyric —
Excerpts from T.S. Eliot’s First Draft of The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock Written While He Was Deliriously Hungry
Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky,
Like a ham sandwich etherized upon a table.
In the room women come and go
Talking of Michael and Jell-O.
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the windowpanes
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,
Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,
And seeing that it was a soft October night,
Curled once about the house, and quietly mewed:
I want chic-ken, I want li-ver, Meow Mix, Meow Mix
Please de-liv-er. At which point I smashed its face in.
That’s my Meow Mix, bitch.
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a burger on your plate.
(They will say: ‘But how his arms and legs are thin! He should really eat something.’)
Is it perfume from a dress
That makes me so digress?
Or is it Elizabeth Herbert’s exquisite roast duck?
I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.
That way I could eat myself.
Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,
Have a shit-load more of tea and cakes and ices?
I have seen the Eternal Footman hold my coat, and Snickers,
And in short, I was afraid …
What if this asshole eats my Snickers?
Would it have been worthwhile,
To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
To have squeezed the universe into a ball
To roll it towards some overwhelming question,
To say: ‘Trick or treat, smell my feet,
Give me something good to eat!
I’m Lazarus, by the way.’
Do I dare to eat a peach?
Why? Do you have one?
I have seen them riding seaward on the waves,
Entire ships made of Vienna sausages …