Memo: wander the streets of Rome, endlessly,
until tired of your foreign misimpressions
a troop of Bersaglieri
take your imagination off on a brisk trot
to the Castel Sant'Angelo,
where they have not had an execution for a long time
but seem willing, now, to make an exception.
"I have captured your imagination," asserts the Commandante
of subconscious rambling, and the sun and the moon unite
to dribble gold and silver down the bib of the executioner;
and the ax does fall,
but is just one more unrecorded incident
taking place in my head in a bar near Canal Street,
Angelo's, where bar-stool inertia has set in,
a picture within the faded reproduction framed by foliate carving
of Violi's great canvas, Canal Street,
hanging dim and baroque above the customers.
In fact, morsels of roast swan
are all that's left on the steamtable,
and so in the picture I remain hungry,
making do with gratuitous details,
such as the snow leopards
who wait to escort me to my blind date,
a 2500-year-old Scythian princess,
who I hope will be thawed and animate
by the time I knock on her tomb of logs
high in the Altai Mountains;
and the bouquet I bring swirls with the kitsch of autumn colors,
and silvery moonbeams dance about,
and I was sure I could sit there, quiet,
and partake of that vista forever,
time stopping allegorically in its tracks --
but then comes the call to action, to get up;
a few artful taps from the hammer of creativity
and I'm on my way, a dancing moonbeam.

The East Village Poetry Web
Tony Towle