I had been wondering what's happened to Rob. Last I heard he was in Pero with Maria. Now it appears Maria is back - I ran into her today in Cafe EuroMed. She's very reticent about her visit to her homeland. Still no pubication date for her forthcoming volume "The Sensual Crayon"
When I got home I found a letter on the mat. It contained this. Typical of Robert not to include a letter - just the pome scrawled on a napkin bearing the title "Amato". Oh Well at least he seems to be having a ball.
ROBUTUS OVIDII AMICUS
Somewhere on the third hill
beside the railway line
above the Piazza Risorgimento -
home in on Google Earth
& you can just see it among the ruins
centuries old – the tomb of Robutus, my ancestor.
I found it, separate from the vaults,
a weathered slab, sloping encrustation,
almost erased th’inscription:
“Robutus Ovidii amicus
Corpus atque moenium generis muralis
Dithirambi et carmina pro Bachi pangabat
Coluit in Roma et in Roma
Ad suum moenium recurrit”
As I stood numbly trying to translate
I seemd to stumble, blankd – the empty world
replacd the full one, pod-like, dark
thousand-year preserver of seed.
stript of all photons a floating funnel
where Dante, Michelangelo and Fellini
could be heard laughing. Their
joyful giggles accompanied
my bumpy landing in a busy market
not far from… what recognised? Those toga’d
gents – such decorum at the Forum!
The speech I heard around me
not Italian, though it had the ring, was Latin.
That much I knew, marvelled how it bubbled
from their lips – mine also – my
hot lips! Spoke in Latin, for a day
Now, a touristo inglaisie
I transcribe these notes for you
my fine friends in Kentish Town;
I'm up among Fiats and Alfas again,
sipping a tamarindo in the Via Giadorno Bruno.