Posts Tagged ‘Poetry’

Pompeii Graffiti

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

Preserved by ash, perfect as when
it was carved or painted onto walls.

Almost poetry, lines left by lonely
people baked into clay statues.

“Secundus says hello to his Prima, wherever
she is. I ask, my mistress, that you love me.”

“If anyone does not believe in Venus,
they should gaze upon my girlfriend”

Some philosophy: “A small problem
grows large if you ignore it.”

“Lovers, like bees, live a honeyed life”
“Once you are dead, you are nothing.”

But mostly, it’s what you would expect
from anyone today.

“Staphylus was here with Quieta.”
“Marcus loves Spendusa”

“Restituta, take off your tunic,
please, and show us your hairy privates”

“Weep, you girls. My penis has given you up.
Now it penetrates men’s behinds.”

“O walls, you have held up so much
tedious graffiti that I am amazed

that you have not already collapsed in ruin.”
But they haven’t, they haven’t.


Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

“Aveilut begins at the conclusion of the funeral and continues through the seven days of shiva.”

Bread goes in the breadbox, shoes
go in the shoebox, and you go
in the you-box, underground
to mellow like some fine wine.

On the first night, the elephant slumps
in the corner, stares, sometimes
waving his broad, shroud-like ears.
He brought his own bitter grapes

to crush, spraying the sour juice
on your sister, my best friend,
even your mother, her blond hair
and black veil. It becomes impossible

for me to tie my shoelaces, to keep
my teeth away from my fingernails,
to eat without immediately vomiting.
Wine cannot be poured back in the bottle

once it has mixed with water.
The elephant will not go away unless
I ask it politely. Which I won’t–
it is easier to leave and lock the door.