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Michael R Burch Oct 2020
Renee Vivien Translations

by Renée Vivien
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

When the moon weeps,
illuminating flowers on the graves of the faithful,
my memories creep
back to you, wrapped in flightless wings.

It's getting late; soon we will sleep
(your eyes already half closed)
in the shimmering air.

O, the agony of burning roses:
your forehead discloses
a heavy despondency,
though your hair floats lightly ...

In the night sky the stars burn whitely
as the Goddess nightly
resurrects flowers that fear the sun
and die before dawn ...

by Renée Vivien
loose translation/interpretation by Kim Cherub (an alias of Michael R. Burch)

Your laughter startles, your caresses rake.
Your cold kisses love the evil they do.
Your eyes―blue lotuses drifting on a lake.

Lilies are less pallid than your face.

You move like water parting.
Your hair falls in rootlike tangles.
Your words like treacherous rapids rise.
Your arms, flexible as reeds, strangle,

Choking me like tubular river reeds.
I shiver in their enlacing embrace.
Drowning without an illuminating moon,
I vanish without a trace,

lost in a nightly swoon.

by Renée Vivien
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

the Amazon smiles above the ruins
while the sun, wearied by its struggles, droops to sleep.
******’s aroma swells Her nostrils;
She exults in blood, death’s inscrutable lover.

She loves lovers who intoxicate Her
with their wild agonies and proud demises.
She despises the cloying honey of feminine caresses;
cups empty of horror fail to satisfy Her.

Her desire, falling cruelly on some wan mouth
from which she rips out the unrequited kiss,
awaits ardently lust’s supreme spasm,
more beautiful and more terrible than the spasm of love.

NOTE: The French poem has “coups” and I considered various words – “cuts,” “coups,” “coups counted,” etc. – but I thought because of “intoxicate” and “honey” that “cups” worked best in English.

“Nous nous sommes assises” (“We Sat Down”)
by Renée Vivien
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Darling, we were like two exiles
bearing our desolate souls within us.

Dawn broke more revolting than any illness...

Neither of us knew the native language
As we wandered the streets like strangers.
The morning’s stench, so oppressive!

Yet you shone like the sunrise of hope...


As night fell, we sat down,
Your drab dress grey as any evening,
To feel the friendly freshness of kisses.

No longer alone in the universe,
We exchanged lovely verses with languor.

Darling, we dallied, without quite daring to believe,
And I told you: “The evening is far more beautiful than the dawn.”

You nudged me with your forehead, then gave me your hands,
And I no longer feared uncertain tomorrows.

The sunset sashayed off with its splendid insolence,
But no voice dared disturb our silence...

I forgot the houses and their inhospitality...

The sunset dyed my mourning attire purple.

Then I told you, kissing your half-closed eyelids:
“Violets are more beautiful than roses.”

Darkness overwhelmed the horizon...

Harmonious sobs surrounded us...

A strange languor subdued the strident city.

Thus we savored the enigmatic hour.

Slowly death erased all light and noise,
Then I knew the august face of the night.

You let the last veils slip to your naked feet...
Then your body appeared even nobler to me, dimly lit by the stars.

Finally came the appeasement of rest, of returning to ourselves...
And I told you: “Here is the height of love…”

We who had come carrying our desolate souls within us,
like two exiles, like complete strangers.

Renée Vivien (1877-1909) was a British poet who wrote primarily in French. She was one of the last major poets of Symbolism. Her work included sonnets, hendecasyllabic verse and prose poetry. Born Pauline Mary Tarn in London to a British father and American mother, she grew up in Paris and London. Upon inheriting her father's fortune at age 21, she emigrated permanently to France. In Paris, her dress and lifestyle were as notorious as her verse. She lived lavishly as an open lesbian, sometimes dressing in men's clothes, while harboring a lifelong obsession for her closest childhood friend, Violet Shillito (a relationship that apparently remained unconsummated). Her obsession with violets led to Vivien being called the "Muse of the Violets." But in 1900 Vivien abandoned this chaste love to engage in a public affair with the American writer and heiress Natalie Clifford Barney. The following year Shillito died of typhoid fever, a tragedy from which Vivien never fully recovered. Vivien later had a relationship with a baroness to whom she considered herself to be married, even though the baroness had a husband and children. During her adventurous life, Vivien indulged in alcohol, drugs, fetishes and sadomasochism. But she grew increasingly frail and by the time of her death she weighed only 70 pounds, quite possibly dying from the cumulative effects of anorexia, alcoholism and drug abuse.

Keywords/Tags: Renee Vivien, lesbian, gay, LBGT, love, love and art, French, translation, translations, France, cross-dresser, symbolic, symbolist, symbolism, image, images, imagery, metaphor, metamorphose, metaphysical
nazu Dec 2018
Why can’t we just be like everybody else?
Life isn’t fair.
Why balloons?
Everybody is born with a balloon.
Some red
Some blue
Some green
Some popped.
But we have none.
We are the unlucky ones
Without balloons.

Why can’t we just take unwanted ballons?
That would be stealing.
Make our own?
Not the same.
But we deserve it,
Don’t we?
Life is unfair
Life is unfair
Life is unfair
Life isn’t fair.
None of it is fair.
All I want is a
this is my first time writing a poem... i hope at least somebody takes their time to read it!
Harri Nov 2018
I wish we could exist,
just you and I,
curled together
in a sound-proof bubble.
Nothing but breathing
your air
and kissing
your lips
and touching
your silk-soft skin.
I wish we could float,
unseen and untouched
though this world
full of judgement
and hate.
You are my peace,
my smile,
you are the moment
I close my eyes
and my mind stills
and empties.
The moment
when nothing else matters,
but the feel
and the smell
and the taste
of you.

I wish we could be,
just be.
zero Dec 2017
The idea of my human worthlessness is dragging me down.

I think about it for the best part of an hour,
only managing to read three pages of my book in that time,

I'm sorry.

I'm just simply being swallowed up by the lack of water surrounding me.
I'm sick of the endless stream of chatter that isn't coming out of my ******* mouth.
I'm sick of the looks no one is giving me because they don't actually see me.

They see a figure,
hunched over,
reading a book.

The book has no words.
The average day
of an average teen.

zero Nov 2017
I swear to you,
the unstable heads of the masses are lacking hearts,
and in their places,
the empty, sickening hole,
the spongey, earthy remains of what used to be,
lie hollowed out carcasses of the devil,
next to their sycophants and empty graves.
The emperor is corrupt,
don't follow him.

I get Maam-ed in blue jeans and sir-ed in a dress,
so I usually go with my Utilikilt and let them guess.
I despise the social construct that puts me in this position,
and I will fight it until I win  or I cannot take the derision.
I could fill multiple volumes with more detail if you want them,
but unless you ask I won't just vaunt them.
An excerpt from my brief autobiography that I penned to go with the anonymous trans survey, as usual, I didn't even realize I was rhyming until I proof read it.
Crawl in next to me so I can feel you on my heart
The sweetest purr as I make your body arc
She smells as ripe as a flower in bloom
We will do anything you can imagine in this room
I'll love you slow and then fast you know
Your body's ebb and flow is quite a show
Take my hand, place it in between
The warmth is crazy, here, now you see
I love your lips and how they set me alight
Everything you do to me is oh-so-right
Hold my ******* and eyes in your gaze
And I'll blush at yours for it's you I crave
Everything feminine and soft is true
Everything a woman could feel I feel
For a woman like you
Bitter shouting remedies
Wailing in the streets
Beggars wanting more than just
The crumbs off royal seats
Fancy ******* lunatics
Brainwashing people like twits
So ******* what
If I'm female
And want to ***** her ****?
Erali Pisce Apr 2015
He is good.
He suprises me with how good he really is.
He makes me,
Can you believe it?
Sometimes I can't.
He loves  me.
gender fluid,
that I am.
I didn't really think that was possible.
Not because I am not deserving of love.
Just that I am different.
He loves my different.
He is in love with my different.
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