from (C)OVID'S METAMORPHOSIS, Book the Fifth

Calliope sings: Ceres searches for Proserpine

My finger nails became pitted around the same time

I arrived at the city by the sea. You see, I’ve

tipped as many cattle as I have pennies

in my pocket.  When I was found out,

that’s when my body softened

into this malleable ball of teeth

& liver spots & the occasional clump

of hair.  There where no light goes you

will find where the things you’ve lost

have gone & coagulated into a greasy clump.

A vast fatburg of expectations, dreams

& desires.  The hero’s katabasis leads

into ruin & the god of the grain is resurrected,

ruined.  You’ll not slay me, coughing

sneezing hordes, because here I stay

in my impenetrable misery.

Calliope sings: Ceres asks Jupiter’s help

The Pisan Cantos might prop up

a wobbly television.  The Rings of Saturn

can’t really be spoiled by knowing

the plot.  The photo of my mother

is cropped such that it is no longer

a reliable source.  Notes from

Underground once came in the mail

from the Book-of-the-Month-Club.

The edition was hardback but otherwise

I remember nothing of it.  “Thunderstruck”

is a song by a band whose albums

I’ve never owned, but I remember seeing

the cover of Dirty Deeds Done Dirty

Cheap & wondering what dirty deeds

were & why were they so expensive

to begin with.  You might use Infinite

Jest to kill the fuck out of a house

centipede who in turn just used

Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

to make a lunch of a passing cockroach.

Hint: we’re the cockroaches;

true story--at the conclusion of our

study of James Joyce we were supposed

to bring in something that would be a pun

on the title.  There were plenty of Portraits

of the Harpist as a Young Ham, but I

brought in a bag of rune stones

because I’m stupid & I have no sense

of humor.

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from (C)OVID'S METAMORPHOSIS, Book the Fifth

Calliope sings: Persephone's fate It's too late to question the logic of curses, to second guess why some birds deserve h...