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Another Failed Poem about the Greeks

by Posted on September 12th, 2008 at 9:26 pm

The following is from Cave Wall 4, featuring more poems by Sandra Beasley, along with poems by Emma Bolden, Kate Fetherston, Carrie Fountain, Norbert Hirschhorn, Richard Jackson, Sharon Kessler, Hailey Leithauser, Al Maginnes, Sebastian Matthews, Rebecca McClanahan, Diana Pinckney, CJ Sage, Michael Steffen, Elizabeth Volpe, Rebecca Warren, William Wenthe, and Terri Wolfe. Issue 4 will feature black and white art by Dennis Winston.

Cave Wall 4

Another Failed Poem about the Greeks

His sword dripped blood. His helmet gleamed.
He dragged a Gorgon’s head behind him.

As first dates go, this was problematic.
He itched and fidgeted. He said Could I

save something for you? But I was all out
of maidens bound to rocks. So I took him

on a roller coaster, wedging in next to
his breastplated body in the little car.

He put his arm around me, as the Greeks do.
On the first dip he laughed. On the first drop

he clutched my shoulder and screamed like
a catamite. When we ratcheted to a full stop

he said Again. We went on the Scrambler,
the Apple Turnover, the Log Flume.

We went on the Pirate Ship three times,
swooshing forward, back, upside down,

and he cried Aera!, waving his sword,
until the operator asked him to please keep

all swords inside the car. He was a good sport,
letting the drachmas fall out of his pockets;

sparing the girl who spilled punch on his shield;
waving as I rode the Carousel’s hippogriff

though it was a slow ride, and I made him
hold my purse. On the way home

he said We should do this again sometime,
though we both knew it would never happen

since he was Greek, of course, and dead,
and somewhere a maiden rattled her chains.

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