Friday, September 01, 2006

Not Made for Timorous Bodies

—Constantine P. Cavafy

Return often and take me,
beloved sensation, return and take me—
when the memory of the body awakens,
and old desire again runs through the blood;
when the lips and the skin remember,
and the hands feels as if they touch again.

Return often and take me at night,
when the lips and the skin remember...


—Constantine P. Cavafy

In a room bare and small, only the four walls
covered with solid green strips of cloth,
a beautiful chandelier burns and blazes;
and in each of its flames kindles
a prurient passion, a prurient urge.

Within the small room shining brightly,
lit by the strong flame of the chandelier,
this is no ordinary light that shines.
The sensual delight of this warmth
is not made for timorous bodies.



•••Today (Friday, 9/1) is the deadline for Clive Matson's Crazy Child Scribbler. The theme for the autumn edition is Beverages. You may submit pieces that focus on a beverage of your choice. Prose or poems that merely make an interesting reference to a beverage will also be accepted. Please submit each poem (40 lines or less) or prose (500 words or less) as plain text in the body of separate e-mail messages (no attachments) to Please type "Submission" and the title of the piece in the subject heading of your email message to minimize the chance of your email becoming lost among the spam. Simultaneous submissions are fine. Info:

•••And today will be the last day to see the retrospective of Vic Selinsky's art at the 20th St. Art Gallery, 911 20th St., Sacramento. Gallery hours are Tues. through Sat., 12-5 PM, and by appointment. Info: 916-930-0500.

Another Possibility for Labor Day:

•••Monday (9/4), 7 PM:
Alan Satow's open mic & feature at Java Aroma on Pacific Ave./Walnut in Stockton.


—Constantine P. Cavafy

It must have been one o'clock in the morning,
or half past one.
In a corner of the tavern;
behind the wooden partition.
Aside from the two of us the shop was completely deserted.
A kerosene lamp scarcely lighted it.
Dozing, at the doorway, the waiter dead for sleep.

No one would have seen us. But already
we had excited ourselves so much,
that we became unfit for precautions.

Our clothes were half opened—they were not many
for a divine month of July was scorching hot.

Enjoyment of the flesh between
our half-opened clothes;
quick baring of the flesh—the vision of what
occurred twenty-six years ago; and has now come
to remain among these verses.


—Constantine P. Cavafy

The fulfillment of their deviate, sensual delight
is done. They rose from the mattress,
and they dress hurriedly without speaking.
They leave the house separately, furtively; and as
they walk somewhat uneasily on the street, it seems
as if they suspect that something about them betrays
into what kind of bed they fell a little while back.

But how the life of the artist has gained.
Tomorrow, the next day, years later, the vigorous verses
will be composed that had their beginning here.


—Constantine P. Cavafy

One candle is enough. Its dim light
is more appropriate, it will be kindlier
when Shadows come, the Shadows of Love.

One candle is enough. Tonight the room
must not have too much light. Immersed entirely in revery
and in suggestion, and in the low light—
Thus deep in revery I will dream a vision so

that Shadows may come, the Shadows of love.

(Today's poetry was translated from the Greek by Rae Dalven.)


—Medusa (is it hot in here?)

Medusa encourages poets of all ilk and ages to send their poetry and announcements of Northern California poetry events to for posting on this daily Snake blog. Rights remain with the poets. Previously-published poems are okay for Medusa’s Kitchen, as long as you own the rights. (Please cite publication.)