Sunday, 24 June 2012

Sunday Poem


Claudio’s English girlfriend Stephanie
just left him for his best friend Maurizio,
he’s blasting my scooter, Stronzo
di merda! he hollers, me on the back,
over the rainy cobblestones of Trastevere
near Porta Portese, we both are grief-stricken,
Figlio di puttana! screams Claudio
into a payphone, at Maurizio’s mother!
my marriage with Inge is over so
these weeks he & I dance at discos, drink wine
at the vineria at Campo dei Fiori, do coke,
me blabbing in Italian like a Jamiroquai record
set on forty-five, we’re in his Audi
blaring Pearl Jam’s Ram, at Pyramide,
a string of puttane like Fellini’s Cabiria
in castiron light, but exactly, except
these are trannies, contraltos, sinewy boys
in crinoline, pinfores, prom dresses,
Claudio laughs, rolls my window down,
my heart pounds, blind with excitement,
with fear, a lewd hoopskirt-dolled swineboy
bitches in a savage Romano clip, his
endocrine-born paps spilling into the car,
I reach out, the breast in my hand
like a soul, a mean little story, turgid & warm,
a scar, un bon mot, a limping grackle,
la Tevere limpia, the dream where I’m a scorpion
sipping venom out of my own stinger,
a daisy, a pillar of salt, the myth of the palace
of rotting meat, a soft crystal carapace,
the last scene of Antonioni’s La Notte,
sweet sweet immaculate indigestible fruit.
From Hummingbird (2012) by John Wall Barger.

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