:: Article

Three Poems

By Alistair Noon.

Homer in New York

Tired of the clash and clang of Fifth Avenue,
his companion and he found an internet café
and slumped down in the dark to ego-google their way
to a recent five-star customer review:
All are at Troy for a new joint venture,
the Trojan Allies and the Greek Coalition,
to strip the armour from their victims. The mission?
Olympus had a project for a New Greek Century.
But Homer has the Trojans as human as the Greeks.
Asius Hyrtacides, about to be speared through:
*hZeus, you’ve turned out to be a liar, too…”
Few mentions of Helen. The song is greed.

Blake in Munich

The road of excess
Standing at the glass he cursed
insane prices. Drinkers hammered
litres down beneath the curves
where the painted pigs lay flattened.
Off he strode, crossed the stone bridge
where the crazy in their wetsuits
swerve atop the racing, bracing
Grand Prix track of winter water.
The boulevard. The tanned and wrinkled
strolled about in full-length furs,
spent a hundred on a keyring,
snorkelling around for fresh pearls.
At the end, past king and steed,
he stormed the steps towards arcades
and chambers where the wise decide
opening times, work safety and taxation.

Ezra Pound in Florence

Longfellow, Lowell and Eliot (not Possum)
all have their plaques where they slept.
There is nothing of Il Duce.
But on the Piazza di San Giovanni
there on the wall in a glass case:
il governo Prodi amico
degli imperialisti USA
(Partito Marxista-Leninista Italia)
as the bells on the Campanile strike
down the road from where the Florentines
burnt the book-burner
Infelix ego
and the blonde-dyed assistants no longer notice
the window-worshippers
who may buy their handbags at a cheaper rate from the street-preachers
among the chapels of Gucci, the palaces of Prado,
the basilicas of Versace.


Alistair Noon‘s first full-length collection, Earth Records, is forthcoming from Nine Arches Press in 2012. His poems, reviews, essays and translations from German and Russian have appeared widely in magazines and several chapbooks, most recently Out of the Cave (Calder Wood Press). He lives in Berlin.

First published in 3:AM Magazine: Thursday, November 10th, 2011.