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

The Transformation of Daphne into a Lawrel

What does a T-Rex know of love if he can’t
hold a bouquet in his stunted little arms?
Still he danced himself from pram
to prom, his every cough uncovered without 
an elbow crook in which to stifle it. A bare-
necked lady flicked her hips - she
burned up his bones until he thumped
what was left of his chest & his lungs
like empty toothpaste tubes.

After all, who would want last century’s
apocalypse when you can have two 
for the price of one thirsty god
& a tree that seemed to swipe left
into the eye of the storm that came
before the flood & the famine when
at last I ate the leaves off of my crown.

The Transformation of Io into a Heyfer

Io was terrible 
at Scrabble, but did it for the DMs;
let yourself go 
gently into the donut shop
for no one should wear Lycra unless 
they are taking exercise.

If I had a cow, if I had hammer or a million
dollars, then with mine hundred eyes,
I’d see you the oblivion of the beast 
& raise you from the dead like a stink.

Where there’s smoke there’s also 
something burning in the oven 
like a premonition.  This next part
‘s mostly pixelated & redacted
to protect the redacter.  

If you can hear me, carve your name
into the desk next to the pentagram
& the answers to tomorrow’s

The Transformation of Syrinx into Reeds

Geddy Lee raised his arms 
& all the alien children emerged 
from the burgundy folds 
of his cape.  Pan is god, the dead 
live rent free inside the blink of an eye
in the forest of the night, & 
Old Man Gloom’s got  too much time, 
too many miles on his ticker. I’ve been leaking
fuel into the void, avoiding friends & 
publick meeting places.  It’s not a crime
to crave an afternoon’s soap & a cold brew
delivered to your front door. Once
it’s been bleached, even the foot 
of the colossus looks like camembert.

That’ll do, lil piglet, my train 
is leaving the stately pleasure pit 
& its attendant abyss.  Bury it down
in the hickory smoke.  Cook it slow
& gentle like a disease
& leave nothing but the hooves.  
Once I was distinguished,
a man of some renown, & yet here I sit
asking if refrigerators are running

on time, wondering if Prince Albert
went by Al or Bert.  The peacock 
in the purple light thinks
of nothing & by the time 
he’s heard the blade, 
the fix is in & he’s bled out 
amid the thyme & pan-fried plantains.

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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...