Sunday, November 1, 2015

Au Contraire - Bilingual Ode to "W"

        i - L'histoire

I used to fancy  
the tabloids    chacun à son goût
when they featured
two-headed babies,
often sired by an alien;   c’est autre chose
or spontaneous human
combustion: a small room,
a man turned to flame
while lighting a butt;   pièce de résistance
a woman walking on the beach,
suddenly reduced to ashes,
having broken no apparent rules
of good form or taste.   à la mode
Over time the stories
changed to peccadilloes:   enfants terrible
a woman of good form
but questionable taste
shot with a well-known preacher;   faux pas
a politician, presidential
prospects trashed.   rapprochement
It was a joke among my friends    entre nous
that I could never run for President:
a misconception.

I wish The Man
had been my daddy.   dénoûement
I could have whored,
drugged and boozed
south of the border,   fait accompli
done coke at Camp David
and got off with a stint
of youth counseling,
a little cheerleading   à bon marché
on my way
to the white house.   noblesse oblige

     ii - Traduction du Français

chacun à son goût:     My own taste 
c'est autre chose:       leans to the left 
pièce de résistance:   so I'm dishing 
à la mode:                 about the fashion
enfants terrible:        for bad boys
faux pas:                   to step in it
rapprochement:         and still get the vote.
entre nous:                Between you and me,
dénoûement:             the plot is apparent:
fait accompli:            deny facts
à bon marché:           and strike the bargain
noblesse oblige:        that oils big wheels.

Mary Bast

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