Поколение битников. Переводы Алексея Караковского

a literary romance

I met her somehow through correspondence or poetry or magazines
and she began sending me very sexy poems about rape and lust,
and this being mixed in with a minor intellectualism
confused me somewhat and I got in my car and drove North
through the mountains and valleys and freeways
without sleep, coming off a drunk, just divorced,
jobless, aging, tired, wanting mostly to sleep
for five or ten years, I finally found the motel
in a small sunny town by a dirt road,
and I sat there smoking a cigarette
thinking, you must really be insane,
and then I got out an hour late
to meet my date; she was pretty damned old,
almost as old as I, not very sexy
and she gave me a very hard raw apple
which I chewed on with my remaining teeth;
she was dying of some unnamed disease
something like asthma, and she said,
I want to tell you a secret, and I said,
I know: you are a virgin, 35 years old.
and she got out a notebook, ten or twelve poems:
a life's work and I had to read them
and I tried to be kind
but they were very bad.
and I took her somewhere, the boxing matches,
and she coughed in the smoke
and kept looking around and around
at all the people
and then at the fighters
clenching her hands.
you never get excited, do you? she asked.
but I got pretty excited in the hills that night,
and met her three or four more times
helped her with some of her poems
and she rammed her tongue halfway down my throat
but when I left her
she was still a virgin
and a very bad poetess.
I think that when a woman has kept her legs closed
either for love
or for