A DANCE OF CHANCES
Round six, or any time precisely, 8
as the dawn-darts home in on us,
our wishes will wash off our sights,
by now both blinded and uncallous,
taking along the rambling thoughts
that still set our senses awake,
coiling at last towards their bodies,
like najas crawling back to crate.
The wildest figments of our lips, 8
after some cursory debate,
will deprive us of fibs, escaping with
the airy nature of heavier things.
And wanting words as they recede,
our bodies will wake up in quiet,
as though they remained mesmerised:
they’ve known their lows, they’ve known their highs.
Life!, life bigger than life itself! 8
Life as we know so far contrived
of many unreasons and wonders,
life full of gags and full of dramas.
And lures of luck and false fresh starts
in the dubious dealings between
a lonely jack of broken hearts
and a diamonds-jaded queen.
Beforehand, safe from any streak of blame, 10
in grip of some planned absinth nonchalance,
why don’t we escape not a moment too soon
into the next-door room and join the dancers
who profit from their trances to glimpse into
a preserve from before the age of wagers,
yearning and burning for long-overdue,
however unearned, shelter from bliss' dangers.
Bottles and glasses shall follow us trembling, 10
the dealers, waiters and babes, taking stances,
the bouncers in spades (though trained to look askance),
the club bartenders, both stirring and shaking,
dead and handicapped, rising then relapsing,
the light through a cleft, stealthily advancing,
all eyes about us as mirrors enhancing
those too bold stakes we have dared to have chanced.
She always said men saw all black and white, 10
but women sensed shades. Is this why I can't
say if her hair was black or red that night?
Let's go back to check the returns our bets
might have deserved: 28's a good number,
but a black outcome might tear us asunder.
Can you make out a method in the reckonings
of a mumbler? No wonder, it's just mutter.
A man of will will face the weather. 8
A man, like a tree, is to be
told by the features of his fruits
(if not by the plain state of squalor
of his very best pair of boots...).
But what if some unsung December,
resurrecting above past's embers,
begins unhinging time, till summer
grows bitterer than one remembers, 8
biting off the rest of his crops?
Discipline - that ought to be probably
the algorithm that we needed.
But in case it can't be delivered,
only an overdose of whisky (hey, boss,
would you please?) could, say, make a killing
(pretend the pun had been unwilling).
For how else, after being teased by circumstances 10
beyond justification but fulfilled
in advance, could one not refrain from reading
between the lines and under words of wisdom,
so inhuman a law we had better keep hidden? 12
Then, what are the odds for heat or an early frost?
Should we wait this time for fire or else for rain?
Are there chances for the season to start again?
She was in her late twenties, 6
in the peak of her beauty.
Too uptight to be tempted
to take life very seriously.
Too sophisticated to lend
ears to the songs of mystery.
She'd never indulge herself in
affections of wild subtlety.
Her husband, a well-bred 6
gentleman, of fine figure
and displaying a set
wisdom teeth, was the sum
of all vices and virtues
that a man of his class
should pretend or possess.
Why then would she dump him for a ridiculous 10
ageing romeo? And I went as fool
as I could go, I must confess that I
even begged, till tears began to roll.
Many a friend shook my hand in that fashion
we are supposed to, moved by both compassion
and secret pleasure for other men's frets.
Let's face facts: the jeux were already faits.
Plundered from some black garage auction sale, 10
a chandelier scatters sherds over herds
of gamblers (a stock of self-proclaimed anglers,
just poor daredevils playing out their parts
to the profit of the state of the art),
drilling with their shrilling beams the bull's eye
of their dulling eyes, as if only meant
to wreck their yet overburdened nerve cells.
Moles watch over hoaxes and bouts as well. 10
But drinking to the brink of inconvenience,
a specimen of the first round clientele,
a sort of chain-joker, spared one to crack,
before the headwaiter brings him the check.
And it is like this every and each morning,
as first you're told, and later testimony.
A mirror, on a wall, painted vermillion,
looks at us awry, like an absent-minded 10
passer-by that goes past us in a hurry.
Opposite, a watch, jealous of its twin,
sulks and goes on to slumber, loudly humming,
as a snoring moon in a tropics' landscape:
time's just preparing for its hit and running,
time's just preparing to be caught red-handed
and then get away from our hands unscathed.
Finally, only earlier than they might, 10
right over the lawn and fending-off fences,
over the vigilance of tipsy senses,
ghosts stemming from all brands of kin and plights,
suddenly surge in to bring awe and pity,
looming all around the gloomy facilities.
And the less nonsensical in appeal,
the more their dreams seems to us ghastly real.
Yet, to be honest, now, at close of play, 10
what the hell was lost and what damned was gained?
How could I have thought, against all the odds,
that I would walk out with luck hand in hand?
Could fatality ever be prevented?
Then how I fancied I stood any chance?
Perhaps all bets had been already lost
hopelessly before we even began it.
Life!, life bigger than life itself! 8
Life as we know so far concocted
of many resolve and of veers,
life full of guts and empty fears.
And so many a lie whose unveiling uncovered 12
untold gold, as this ring his hand renders back in,
since made of tin, but which was composed with the dearest
alloy we know of: all its worth was glowing hope.
Not too late, one must resign to his fate, 10
though all will keep indifferent all the same.
And so take on both his doom and his bloom.
A man must still learn how to bend and kneel,
till in the end he repents his repentance.
And hence, at this rate altogether purged
of all casual or earned scourge which makes up
the human condition (if there is such),
pretend not to see his stakes dropped 8
all around the ground, recollecting
he is bound to bend and collect
his fruits wherever they may fall,
face the faces, smile at the strangers,
frown on the usually frowning
conversational clouds, and yawning
finally retreat, after all.
And as I listen to the morning telling 10
the tolls of time, I ask myself why time,
so rich of hours, stole ours, performing
its unfailingly uniform tick-tacking,
tack-ticking, as preparing for its flicking.
Hey Sir, per chance, beyond all bluff at hand,
what is the real chance of earning some grands?
How high is the price for yearning for transcendence?