‘The Orgies of the Rank Impure’

Here is the latest (seventh) in Austin Diaz’s new series of satiric translations of Horace’s Odes.

This Odes is a sort of a sequel to I.2, and like any good sequel it has MORE. More gods, more generals, more praise, more everything. Our beleaguered poet does not leave out the Trump children, nor his faithful advisors, though he extends his apologies for leaving out Stephen Miller. Not to worry, we’ve got something special planned for him.  (There’s a more conventional translation here.)

I.12

What man or true hero should my twittering
thumbs, my bloviations, Bannon, now extol?
Which real conservative? Whose name should echo
            on nationalist lips

either in the winter White House’s elite
confines or in a sweaty, bannered hangar,
where the long-forgotten and the simple learned
           to march in lock-step—

what rich glories of simple syntax were there
unlocked! Oh how eloquence was overcome
with a faux-preacher’s cadence and one very,
            very good adverb!

With whom should we begin but Pat Buchanan,
who first beseeched the silent majority,
set north from south and nourished once blue dogs with
           red, bloody red meat?

Let us not forget, in second place, our dear
deceased Shlafly, genetrix of Coulters and
Malkins, who knew where women (and babies) should
             spend, saintly, their days.

And we will not stay silent on our Spiro,
who did not shrink from putting the media
on notice, nor will we fail to recall Buck-
            ley’s serpentine barbs.

We sing of Nelle’s beloved and Wichita’s sons,
these with oil funds, that one with Saxon smile,
nobility all, guiding our grass-root green
            to great victory,

breaking like D-Day waves over the climate
liars; faced with their picketing rage the free-
loaders fled, the clouds of crushing debt parted,
           consumer freedom!

Shall I now turn to republican Lincoln
or the peaceful reign of Grant? I’ll certainly
skip over Kennedy, pass once in mention
           poor Richard Nixon.

And the great spirits of Bradley and Arnold,
MacArthur, conqueror of Hiroshima,
the iron Eisenhower, I’ll lead them all
            in song down to You,

along with the crazy cowboy general,
Patton, who, likewise of celebrity fame,
knew when to replace a few words with two,
           curse that cargo truck!

In these dark times, Ivanka’s fame (if not her
sales) will grow like a laurel tree, Trump Jr.’s
star will shine, a moon among lesser fires
        (you’re fired Tiffan—)

To you, our spiritual guardians, our thought
leaders, do we entrust the Donald’s young fate!
Dear Sessions, dear Bannon, may you steady his
            mighty, mighty hands!

He has already earned a well-earned triumph
in Yemen, despite the haters, and he’ll yet
subdue the orient: crowded India,
           bankrupting China.

With you by his side, he’ll rule the whole world, and
you, Strong Leader, thundering across the con-
tinental divide, you waylay the orgies
            of the rank impure.  

 

(You can find all of Diaz’s translated odes gathered in one place here.)

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