The Love Song of J. Andy Prufrock, by R.C. Rebel


[Note: as an Ole Miss English nerd, one of my favorite works of literature is T.S. Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock." After the Gamecock loss, some lines of this poem stuck in my head while thinking about Kennedy. So I did this. Special thanks to 2Yards for the Terrico line. Enjoy.]

The Love Song of J. Andy Prufrock

S’io credesse che mia risposta fosse
A persona che mai tornasse al mondo,
Questa fiamma staria senza piu scosse.
Ma perciocche giammai di questo fondo
Non torno vivo alcun, s’i’odo il vero,
Senza tema d’infamia ti rispondo.

LET us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like the Rebels etherized upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like an international incident
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question….
Oh, do not ask, "What is it?"
Let us go and make our visit.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Terrico.

The yellow cloud that rubs its back upon the bubble-team,
The yellow cloud that rubs its muzzle on the bubble-team
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,
Lingered upon the pools the Tad Pad can't drain,
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,
Slipped by Reggie Buckner, made a sudden leap,
And seeing that it was a soft February night,
Curled once about the arc, and popped a three.

And indeed there will be time
For the yellow Cabs that slide along the street,
Rubbing its back upon the bubble-team;
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to punch the Cabbies that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a Long Island Iced Tea.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Terrico.

And indeed there will be time
To wonder, "Do I dare?" and, "Do I dare?"
Time to turn back and descend the stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair—
(They will say: "How his hair is growing thin!")
My oversized coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
My tracksuit velour and Nike, but asserted by a Jumpman pin—
(They will say: "But how his resume is thin!")
Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

For I have known them all already, known them all:
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my quality wins with coffee spoons;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a Library room.
So how should I presume?

And I have known the eyes already, known them all—
The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,
And when I am formulated, screaming for a win,
When they shut down Henderson and I don't know what to call,
Then how should I begin
To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways?
And how should I presume?

And I have known the arms already, known them all—
Arms with sweatbands or tattoos or are bare
(But in the lamplight, oh, Henderson's mohawked hair!)
Is it perfume from a skank's dress
That makes me so digress?
Arms that lie along a table, or start a locker room brawl.
And should I then presume?
And how should I begin?

. . . . . . . .

Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets
And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes
Of Dundrecous Nelson, buying pizza out of windows?…

I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.
. . . . . . . .

And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully!
Smoothed by long fingers,
Asleep … tired … or it malingers,
Stretched on the floor, here beside you and me.
Should I, after #WhiteGirlWednesday and crotch lices,
Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?
But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed,
Though I have seen my head (grown slightly bald) brought in upon a platter,
I am no great coach—and here’s no great matter;
I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen the eternal Gamecock hold my coat, and snicker,
And in short, I was afraid.

And would it have been worth it, after all,
After the red cups, the Jelan Kendricks, the "tea",
Among the NCAA Tourney, less talk of you and me,
Would it have been worth while,
To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
To have squeezed the universe into a ball
To roll it toward some overwhelming question,
To say: "I am Rod Barnes, come from the dead,
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all"—
If Bjork, settling a pillow by his head,
Should say: "That is not what I meant at all;
That is not it, at all."

And would it have been worth it, after all,
Would it have been worth while,
After the homes losses and the road losses and the Cincy streets,
After the Pete Boones, after the red cups, after the puddles on the Tad Pad floor—
And this, and so much more?—
It is impossible to say just what I mean!
But as if a magic lantern struck me dumb on how to defend a screen:
Would it have been worth while
If Murph, setting a screen or Chris Warren passing the ball,
And turning toward the window, should say:
"That is not it at all,
That is not what I meant, at all."
. . . . . . . .

No! I am not Bob Huggins, nor was meant to be;
Am a decent recruiter, one that will do
To swell a progress, win a game or two,
Bitch about facilities; no doubt, an easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be of use,
Kind of a dick, not cautious, nor meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—
Almost, at times, the Fool.

I grow old … I grow old …
I shall wear the bottoms of my track suits rolled.

Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white denim jean shorts, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the Kappas singing, each to each.

I do not think that they will sing to me.

I have seen them riding dolphins on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.

We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By Phi Mus wreathed with seaweed red and brown 130
Till Bjork's voice wakes us, and we drown.

This post is a Red Cup Rebellion FanPost. Please don't sue us.

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