#104 from The Poems of Gaius Valerius Catullus

with Dana Ward

with Dana Ward
I have so little want of activity
even writing with its pain more terrible than life
I don’t want but do because I’m kind of stupid finally
not in the way, you, Sarah know I am
nor, you reader, who think of me fishing.
Line, spindle, lure, bait. Instruments for me
are accessories, even the matchbook is only
a tiara to my eyes, the fishing lure a long
& white bracelet. Some of my
so-called friends think of me as a derelict
they always try to hold me to account.
“Tell me what happened on the drunken night in question”
On the witness stand I am a kitten
terribly cute but I can’t say a thing
about stupid, or fish, or last night.
I like to lay at the base of a hill
asleep while the shepherds work
bringing things to heel with tepid will where I source
my contempt in the index of swill.
The entries there make no mention of hell
which was sifted through the vale of tears, & fell
to make Earth, & the base of this hill where I sunbathe & murmur
‘jealous cellmate’ as my willful peers go by.
Brandon Brown, "104" [I have so little want of activity...] from The Poems of Gaius Valerius Catullus. Copyright © 2011 by Brandon Brown.  Reprinted by permission of Krupskaya.
Source: The Poems of Gaius Valerius Catullus (Krupskaya, 2011)
More Poems by Brandon Brown