Zeus and Apollo

By David Rivard b. 1953 David Rivard
Written on clapboard or asbestos siding, the cartoony   
spray-paint signatures of Apollo and Zeus,
two home boys out bombing last night in thick fog.
Fog near the shade of pearls. Except they didn’t see the mist   
that way, glad for their thin leather gloves.
Wind raw at the wide avenue, so they cut
from there to here.
                              Even if this is in the past
tense, tense of the totally chilled-out,
even if they argued here over Krylon blue or candy-apple red,   
that doesn’t mean they knocked-off and streaked home then.   
And if I saw fog the shade of pearls
it doesn’t mean my heart in its own corrosive and healing fog   
can’t tug on thin leather gloves and stand
in front of a wall, pissing off the Fates
and whoever else owns that wall. Whoever owns it   
means less than the dry, fallen leaves of eucalyptus   
blown crackling over tar and concrete
and sounding, when you shut your eyes, like every tree   
bursting into leaf for the first time, speeded-up
like the first minute of the world.

David Rivard, “Zeus and Apollo” from Torque. Copyright © 1988 by David Rivard. All rights are controlled by the University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, www.upress.pitt.edu. Used by permission of University of Pittsburgh Press.

Source: Torque (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1988)

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Poet David Rivard b. 1953

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Subjects Mythology & Folklore, Greek & Roman Mythology

 David  Rivard

Biography

David Rivard was born in Fall River, Massachusetts. His collections of poetry include Torque (1988), which won the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize, Wise Poison (1996), winner of the James Laughlin Award, Bewitched Playground (2000), Sugartown (2005), and Otherwise Elsewhere (2010). He has also been a contributor to such publications as Ploughshares, The New England Review, and Poetry, and is a former editor of The Harvard . . .

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SUBJECT Mythology & Folklore, Greek & Roman Mythology

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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