Monday, October 27, 2014

Novel fragment

“Dear Love, 

Today I’m sitting under the porch of the Pantheon. I haven’t been writing to you enough, I know. A year has passed since the last time we made love and the Pantheon is the only imperial building left standing in its entirety in Rome. It was raining that night. I followed you through the streets in it—in one of our hysterical scenes—and it’s raining here today. Thunder, lightning, the whole show. Try to say it’s different now, sitting in another continent. Still, the Pantheon is pretty beat up, rather the worse for the wear. Time has let most of the bad memories I have of us together slip away. Maybe it’s driven them off. This far away, now, loving you is easy. 

Agrippa built the Pantheon and—if Shakespeare is to be believed—he also suggested that Mark Anthony be given Octavia as a wife by Augustus, her brother. (I’ve found a cheap bookstall here with many pocketbook copies of Shakespeare’s plays.) That way they felt they could rely on Mark Anthony in Rome. But they could never rely on Mark Anthony. The only thing I can rely on is the emptiness of my mailbox. So I leave; I’m not going to sit around an empty apartment, going over the walls again and again. People come by, stop me from working. After this year away I could make you into an angel in my mind; all I have to do is strip away the wood like a sculptor. Why is it taking so long for us to say goodbye?

Mark Anthony left—both Rome and Octavia—and gave up everything for his love of Cleopatra, to fight a war against power, against empire.

I met a woman the other day I know I could fall in love with. But I also know, too, that my love for you won’t let me do it

(This is a fragment from the novel I'm working on that I've decided to cut. Just putting it here for safe keeping. Enjoy.)

Friday, October 3, 2014

Three Poems for Bill Gainer


This Economy

I can use this blade
one more week
if I draw it hard across
my face, ignore
the nicks and chafing.



I think of each
warm Autumn sun as the last
of summer


I enjoy the fiction longer
than any actual season


Florence is the corpse
of a city crawling
with frat boys and blind Japanese

Bologna teems
with living, breathing Italians