"Satyrs at Play" - aediculaantinoi.wordpress.com: HADRIAN and ANTINOUS finally release their embrace, and notice DIONYSOS

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Abu Nuwas: In the Bath-House | Mike Nova: The Mystery

Abu Nuwas, al-Funun 2, no. 1 (June 1916)
Abu Nuwas (ca. 756-ca. 810)

In the bath-house, the mysteries concealed by trousers
    Are revealed to you.
All becomes radiantly manifest.
    Feast your eyes without restraint!
You see handsome butts and shapely trim chests,
    You hear the murmuring of pious formulas,
           One lad to another:
       "God is Great!" "Praise be to God!"
Ah, what a palace of pleasure is the bath-house!
    Even when the towel-bearers come in
       And spoil the fun a bit. 


The Mystery

In the baths at St. Mark's Place 
Where the deadly particles spread 
So easily, so eager, so readily, 
So ecstatic, so indiscriminately, so sick, 
So beautiful, so erotic, so upper class gutter, 
So animalistic, so true, 
So incredibly pathological, 
So fucking sexy - 
I could not stand it 
And run away, 
And stayed alive, 
So strangely so, 
I cannot stand it, 
And all of them died, 
For a minute of pleasure. 

And so they mixed, 
Like the wildfire of sex and death, 
For the sake of this most mysterious mixing: 
The most social animals humans are, 
At the price of death, 
As always. 

And so 
I could not stand it 
And I run away 
In anger, pain, fear, rage; 
From all those hands 
So willing to touch, 
To comfort, to give. 

I did run away, 
They stayed. 
With mystery buried 
And revived, and buried forever, 
And revived again: 
The flock of the feather, 
In life and death. 

The mystery wrapped tightly in snow white towels, 
So visible, so seductive, 
So innocent, so simple, 
So magic.  

So eternal - I cannot stand it;
The heart of all mysteries. 
Send a telegram to whoever, 
To the most higher-ups; 
I want them to know this: 
This is The Mystery. 

"Concealed by trousers"... 
What a horrible translation! 
Just The Mystery: 
I could never figure it out, 
And no one will. 
No one will. 


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