September 16th, 2010



Calvus, I didn't know you hated me.
Or why send me such awful poetry?
I'd hate you back, but most assuredly
You'll have some reason, though I cannot see
What I have done to earn this penalty.
Own up, some client sent them as your fee
- Gods strike him with a pox or strangury -
And you thought that you'd share the misery.
Or is it some new and subtle tyranny
of Sulla's? Such an awful enemy -
for you to have as client. Thankfully
at least that means he paid. I'd gladly flee
a room in that book's vague vicinity..
A gift that poisons eyes, quite mortally,
At Saturnalia too, a upas tree
with candles. Next week, if my time is free
I'll fly round bookshops, buzzing like a bee
And bring you poisoned honey. One, two, three
big scrolls of rotten poets. Imagery
and meter that's a putrid mockery...
And as for you, you little library
of awful stuff - Off with you before we
set fire to you or sink you in the sea.
Go where you got those feet that limpingly
eke out your lines. Then stop.


Don't be surprised, Rufus, if women all
refuse to let you bounce upon their thighs,
even when you offer life-time supplies
of the best kind of silks, the ones that fall

languidly to the ground, or precious stones
that glitter like the stars.They turn you down.
There is a rumour going round the town
that they've all heard - they feel it in their bones

disgust and fear of that huge billygoat
the smelly one that lives beneath your arms -
foul breath, sharp horns. He really has no charms
for anyone who'd fuck you. And his coat

shows shaggy there.Shave wash and scent today
or please stop asking why girls run away.


My love says that she would rather be
in my bed than in Jupiter's, but we
know that hot passion makes all women say
words carved in water and then washed away.