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Second Martian Eclogue

A paraklausithyron after Theocritus’ Idyll III, The Serenade

by Bertrand Cayzac

The Martian Eclogues are about TT Ray, Melly and all the working-class kids who grew up in agro-industrial counties on the Mexican border during the early days of space flight, millennia after Virgil sang the herdsman’s lore and some few generations after the last cowboy was seen taking shelter under a highway overpass as captured in Cormac Mc Carthy’s novel Cities of the Plain.

Most of them used to work hard for a meager wage, sometimes in the fields, sometimes in the mills, and they loved to rap a little during their spare time. But now food mass-production is undergoing a new brutal wave of consolidation, while investors are claiming the land to operate real-scale agro theme parks or luxury vintage eco systems. This time, innumerable jobless have no choice but to leave for the booming space colonies.

In this chant, a restless hothead goes up to an orbital space station to see his girl, Meryl-X. The X refers to the human enhancement class she belongs to. Alas, very much as in Theocritus’ serenade, Meryl-X’s air lock remains closed...

Hopping containers on space elevators, I’m gone a-chasing
pretty Meryl-X; firing boosters in the middle of the air.
I’m a space rooster, a sex-crazed one hurled on yon space wheel, locking
target on her dorm’s air lock, yeah I’m far gone, TT Ray, take care!

Hi, sweetheart, won’t you beckon at the porthole to end my spacewalk?
Pity the fool in the void, he sure wants you, but he ain’t no boar.
I know you’re on line listening, sugar, why don’t you wanna talk?
Or do I look bestial? Are you fearing them body smells of yore?

Stole a fistful of cherries for you in this orchard where we toiled.
A blissful stroll was my shift as you walked bare-legged along the lush row.
Let’s eat the fruit together in your cell like in the days of old!
Smuggled through ether by your crow, won’t these black goodies make you glow?

You heard me boasting in the live chat but you could’ve smelled a rat,
for my big brave clown heart went splat when I turned back to the blue hue.
Earth is far now, cruel love snatched the bat off her habitat,
’Cause I love you, Meryl, and Superman himself wouldn’t have a clue.

No boon in being a bee, being a bee wouldn’t do to get through
airtight metallic walls. I don’t wish any magic, this is space
man, we are not in Kansas anymore and the going’s getting rough
Just fling your cables around me babe, take me straight into your base.

Hold it! I hear a blip, a sort of shrill chirp in my cold, cold suit.
Is this just tinnitus or a signal that I’ll soon meet you, gal?
Better hang out by this solar panel and play synthetic flute,
That she may hear my wistful tune somehow, and look down on her pal.

(He sings.)

The fair magnate of the corn belt, she felt in love for this peon,
And the brave little tailor, he became the princess’s paramour.
Dunno much about great lovers, dunno much about a past eon,
But of all li’l cobblers of old, please make me the inheritor.

Or will I fail, silent sphinx? Shall I have to take the lover’s leap?
Will you even wink as I fall down on a tight fuel reserve,
a roasting phoenix while your heart stays still and the systems go bleep?
That would be where our stars part us, that would where our life lines swerve.

Whatever happens, I will never return to the chores I hate,
nor will I join the choir at the gate of heaven. There’s no business
like space business for you, Meryl-X, while forlornness is my fate.
May you rejoice when I vanish in some queer orbital blueness.

Copyright © 2016 by Bertrand Cayzac

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