(from Angles & Visions,
publication March, 2016)
THE BATTLE OF THE SEXES
A strange treatment on love, with echoes
of Sirk and Rosselini: anachronistic sex
in a cable car above some alpine state,
a pencil-skirted, platinum blonde ... American?
A dark-haired man in suit and tie ... Italian?
She considers their fleeting romance 'platonic'
but, empathetic to his character and need,
hands the gentleman a handkerchief.
She turns her back and he turns his,
as - cut to mise en scène - he masturbates.
As an act of kindness, it seems
enlightened, unlike the attempted rape
of Athena, the shot load of Hephaestus;
a foster-son stuck on her virgin's thigh.
Wiped off and dropped to earth
on a scrap of wool, a boy germinates,
who is reared by Gaia and placed,
on Athena's orders, into the box where
he grows to the length of a serpent:
frightening to death the women who lift
the lid and look inside, the kind of half-man
half-snake that curls around your neck.