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Saturday, 26 March 2011

A New Poem by Ben Mazer

A new poem by Ben Mazer is always a treat.  See below.

Dinner Conversation

Dinner conversation. A blank slate
on which to install the empire. Josephus dreams
of decorating silk screens with battle scenes.
Arminius and Varus. Hilda and Hildegaard
turn slightly green but take it not that hard
when Harry with jet-streaked curls of Roman silver
flicks thick ashes into a samovar.
Piles of ripe fruit. How many poppy seeds
will we require to satisfy our needs.
Archie and Jughead analyse the field.
All is statistics, with a fudge sundae sealed.
Silence and talk are two different kinds of power.
"I have to work." The ruling class
wishes to suffer. The poor sit on their ass.
History and archaeology revive
fear of the gods, the instinct to take a wife.
A rich man's daughters are posted to inventories.
The visiting statesman approves of the lawn frieze.
The Botticelli bursts another spring.
It is of florentine silks that I shall sing.
This rough and tumble clan
will expire in madness to a man.
Ah, to be truly mad, that must be glorious,
to see each word as a sign and write in prose.
Lisa puts my toy football in her bra,
and then lifts up her shirt for me to see,
pink white breasts in magnolia taffeta.
My one wish, that I shall soon go blind!
To stop these visions dancing in my mind.
In my dream they thought I had stolen clothes
(books I had borrowed from the library).
The horizon is never permitted to doze.
The real shipment of gold
is emblazoned in flames for all to see.

poem by Ben Mazer, published with permission of the poet.
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