Today’s prompt is to make a homophonic “translation” of a poem from a different language. Having enjoyed a similar exercise at a recent workshop with Christopher Howell, I went straight to the Poetry International website, as Maureen Thorson suggests, and browsed around there for a nicely baffling poem. I chose Norwegian poet Oyvind Rimbereid’s poem titled “Kamuflasje” because I had no glimmer what any of the words, other than the title, might mean.
Working with just the first 17 lines of Rimbereid’s poem, I came up with bizarre, nonsensical lines like, “Can Leftist Week have its corn back in a fuselage flash?” and “or therefore algaes can fly if they will.” What I revised this happy mess into is still bizarre and nonsensical, but perhaps slightly more coherent:
How to pay for my rest without night
saying “sin” or “Kawasaki”?
Swerve next door to find the heroine
who neighbored in a varying sleep.
Back home, I dream a nasty knife performer
camouflages me; I tell him my eyes
must blink ten serrations before
the sky will forgive him.
Another sunset, I dream Medean cats
that so endrunken the eyes, I am gloomed
totally. Their cryings infiltrate
like soldiers in a short minute.
I counsel half myself to eat corn
while in the other half, I witness blades
punishing flesh. Poor truthteller.
Amnesia drifts me, drops me whole.
Sleep slashes and winds. For any eyes upended,
closing, droning, I will them to rev.
* * * * * * * *
Righto. See you next time, then. Thanks for reading!