1987 Homage à Lawrence Durrell

Here's a ditty

To a smitty


Teller, tinker

Indian inkler


Irish genie

English meany


Ice in a hot wind.

Nile and blue Algonquin


Sing in Greek to Aphrodite

Potawatomi to me.


Muezzin, give an Indo-European hoot

Lo, the alphabet's back in my soup.


(I think of Mnemidis, who ate letters,

Swallowed a watch, and knifed his betters.)


Hail fuller, swager, maker of new

May your pound resound and your bang ring true.


May your words be mine, or for the dustbin,

Laughing-stock, Love's husband.