For Alcaeus

inspired by an encyclopedia entry -- how will they sum up your life in a thousand years in one paragraph?

by Scott Poole

Thanks Alcaeus for the Alcaic poetry form.
I thought someone should say it.
I didn't care about you until I heard your story.

Oh to be hated by a Lesbian tyrant named Pittacus,
kicked off of Lesbos,
forced to swim the Med, salt water
stinging your scratched testicles.

I can't even imagine
trying to swim in a toga.
My God.
It must have been like
making love to curtains
without the rod.

Then, to have only a few poems
survive the stinking years.

Alcaeus, all the encyclopedia
will tell me is that you invented
a certain kind of poetic metre
and that you were disappointed,

to say the least, about poor Lesbos,
you hated tyrants, (who doesn't?)
and that you always said
a little love and a lot of wine goes a long way.
You were Adam's apple right about that.

Today Alcaeus,
I heard a song by Crosby, Stills, and Nash
and it reminded me that
David Crosby gave his semen
freely to lesbians
in Marin County, California
around the turn of the millenium.

Sing with me Alcaeus. The music rises.
The chorus joins in ever so gently:
We want to be your friend.
What have you got to lose?

©2001 by Scott Poole

Scott Poole
Scott Poole is the Assistant Director of EWU Press. His first book of poetry, The Cheap Seats (Lost Horse 1999) was a finalist for Foreword Magazine's book of the year awards. He reads his work every Monday morning at 7:50 a.m. on KPBX, Spokane Public Radio, which can also be heard live at KPBX Listen Online. His second book of poetry, Hiding From Salesmen, is forthcoming from Lost Horse Press in 2002. See more of his work at his Web site.

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