August 19, 2013



He studied for two years at the feet of Derrida,
but grew equally bored of Jacques and his philosophy.

Next he wormed his way into politics -
and just as quickly out again. The Minister   
was an old fool, his entourage
pompous stuffed shirts. Screw them.

Intrigued a bit by the cachet of Buddhism,
he thought of giving it all up to meditate
under a tree in India. Upon consideration,
though, he dropped that like a hot potato;
his Baptist parents would freak out.
Why, they might go so far as to curtail
his more than generous allowance!

Yet he had to do something with his life,
though all he really knew was how to party:
male modelling seemed the self-evident solution.

Fate and genetics had endowed him with
too-perfect muscles and a boyish grin.
So he made hay whilst the sun shone.

His looks were good, he figured,
for ten or fifteen years more. Then –
well, he might after all return to Derrida.
Should in the meantime the old bore have passed away,
he’d find himself another sophist or philosopher.
Somebody suitable never fails to turn up.

And in the end, why not go back again to politics –
gravely and dutifully remembering
his family tradition, patriotism, noblésse oblige,
and other such high-minded platitudes.

Constantine Cavafy
(tr. John Stathatos)