Poem #10


Corneli, tibi; namque tu solebas

meas esse aliquid putare nugas,

iam tum cum ausus es unus Italorum

omne aevum tribus explicare chartis,

doctis, Iuppiter, et laboriosis!


from “Catullus 1”, by Catullus


I. A proem to the brave Anarchists against the Golden Dawn

O Liberation, Oppression doomed your children, too,
before you were born from her womb;
Do not stop the beating of your strife,
and cave complete never leading freed people
into a new world; yet you yellow
by her twisted hand of vermin, you are never quitting,
dead from torment.

II. Dramatis Personae

From our faces hung that wetness
Antigone must have felt to sleep with slavery another night, that our
fire flames fight for freedom should sway and die,
dowsed down, to blackest brick, by our
debris we made to learn how to eat what critters claw
from Earth in failure, where olive seed
opened out Prosperity that climbed in trees,
that fell off the owl that named our capital, Athens,
yet a business tyrant, a sycophant of greed,
tells us to leave our streets without means to be fed.

Gladiators of labor, we compete for
corporate spectacular in brightly lit cores of
city clutter; we put pen on paper,
we put pants and panties on, we walk to work and
save our sleep to bear up one profit green,
or white, or gold, for food.

Menace, as much as heroes, dies,
as much as flies, as much as weeds,
and out of the soil, putrid and wet, springs
what a sapling, green with life!


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