Saturday, March 28, 2020

Ovid at Sea

My step wise to every rise
in the cobblestones of Rome.
I stumbled at Julia's backdoor
and Rumor whispered
my name in August ears.

Careful to hush His Ganymedes
and legacies He forced
  His offspring to suffer,
Augustus hurled thunderbolts
   from Olympus.

Verses my fame, now my Lake Trasimene!

Women of Rome,
How can I live without you?
Your tales, smiles,
tails, and scents Mnemosyne
cannot resuscitate.

Inauspicious undulation of the Sea...
my gut sinks, but not so low
as my heart.


Friday, March 20, 2020

Death is Noble, Dying Ignoble


Life degrades dying
and honors death.
The living hasten
our span of breath
into ground or urn
and call it rest.

Dying lust,
feral and unseemly,
honors life in miserly
rasping its last gust.

Proud life scorns to draw another breath
and embraces the still grip of death.

Thursday, March 05, 2020

Quarantine

Orange cones, barbwire, and signs mark the terminus,
streets barren as salted earth.
No rustle of footsteps, murmur of voices, or crisp flutter
of birds in flight. The drone of electricity and motors gone.
The hollow city stretches like skeletal remains of a mythical giant
for miles. Haven't touched another hand or face for months.

When the contagion spread black wings over the city
it disdained to take me. My wife and two children lasted two months.
I still have pictures. I've built palaces for them in dream.

When the military came to cordon off the city they didn't
bother rescuing survivors because, I imagine, they suspected
we carried contagion or were in league with it.
Probably made up a name for us like "Viral Terrorists".

Run into others at least twice a week. I keep my distance, avoid
eye contact, and dare not speak. I resent other survivors more than my
own survival.
Down to three cans of soup, two boxes of cereal, and five water bottles.
Each day brings fainter whispers of miracle.

I hate this life. I fear losing myself and memories of those I love more.




Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Sobriety Cruise Lines


The boats are all sober.
Passengers drink sweet cocktails
on disinfected decks,
Redskins dead or fronting Casinos
for Western Capital.
Endless green seas stretch
under gray heaven.

The cash boxes and
prison ships have won.
Arthur hails from
the virgin page,
"Smash them!"
Nobody hears
over the calm drone
of gray-green
above and below.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Grave Solace


The Dead know our hearts.
They can list every
lie and insult calmly.
This is their Heaven and Hell.
Every betrayal murmurs
so as not to disturb
repose.

Liberation is theirs.
No longer must they live with us.

Take solace.
The day comes when we'll
know living hearts
just like them.


Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Oracle


Blue skies and blades of grass,
Rising seas and yellow leaves,
Exquisite as the scaffold
and tyrant's severed head.