• Vol. 07
  • Chapter 01
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Hymn For The Capital

I grew up prime suburban,
On this tiny little island,
Of chain-store parking fee
Strip mall asphalt aspirations.

Some would have found bland
The world I made Ovidian,
Because I grew up in Tomis,
Like where the Danube met the sea.

Because west of Prime Meridian
The world goes blank,
The maps all find bitter end.
Because I know where Rome is,

But Rome can’t pin down dank
Canals and wetlands and storks,
Herons with their beaks outstretched,
Can’t locate my dividends

In the bank imperial, can’t know
Where I am and therefore fears,
This place, this nasal, flattened
Latin of the provinces, our dithyrambs.

Rome should know here,
The creature they unmade,
Who knows their cadences
Like oil, like butter, like tarsands


Hymn For The Capital

Flaming with spent oil,
Rigged and rigs standing
On four steel feet in the green
Gulf water, pendulous.

Rome should fear my landing,
In the great port Octavian,
No Augustus, there
Had built of white-quarried marble.

Augustus, Ravenna, Prima Porta,
Rome, know this:
I am your provincial creature,
Stirring from your womb,
Disquieting. Dispossessed.

I am your provincial creature,
And I know you better than
A dark obsidian mirror,
Slaked smooth with black.