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

The Story of Alcithoe and Her Sisters 

I used to walk out to the woods to eat
the blood-berries off of unknown plants;
my maker I never met but I was led
to the thorny side of Bacchus 
without much provocation.  
Say what you will, the god will
know which of the three sisters
is hoarding dry goods in a dry 
basement, while every day people
perish from a lack of Chunky Monkey,
pining for the Brawny lumberjack
who has fled to American Samoa
with Mister Clean; 
the sadder but wiser matron 
makes the less believable display
of piety in the marketplace yet 
hisses with her own profane bromides
as she pockets the last can of ham. 
A mirror tilted just the right way
can make even a blind man 
piss his pants.  Taken upside down,
his grimace is a grin, so keep dangling him
by his ankles.  Place a pitcher 
beneath him to catch the limpid drainage.
Change the dressings twice daily.

The Story of Pyramus and Thisbe 

I always thought of this one as filler, 
tedious, brief, the suppression 
of a yawn before more tasteless 
slapstick.  The rest relies on 

the impotence of the grimacing
mechanicals.  Wild is the wind
passed during intermission.  
Don’t fall in love 

with a hole, or with a whole
chorus line in the skin 
of a lion or a lamb
whose ass is cut for confection.

Not so much as a sword
to fall on but a rake to the face
in the scrapyard of Babylon;
this is a tale

of a cyclops & a grapefruit
or a boy & his dog or just 
another Thursday for a falling apart

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