And on the Moon (Pornographic Poem)

  1. I would have special effects
  2. give the moon
  3. the lustre of an eclogue
  4. (form of the form of our Classical being)
  5. But why, why not be pornographic?
  6. Have you ever been to Etruria…? Well, there
  7. you’ll find barbaric populations living amidst
  8. the sweet and steely scrub of ilex and juniper…
  9. where whole trees are a rarity: behind
  10. the wire fences lives a progeny
  11. of evergreens that fill up every inch
  12. of warm and fragrant, Greco-
  13. Italic land
  14. (the East filtered through the Alps)
  15. in a silence of viper-fossils.
  16. I climbed over the barrier with two creatures.
  17. The heat of winter enveloped everything:
  18. saplings, clothes, chests:
  19. a whole tree hinged
  20. on our imperfect embraces.
  21. Kisses followed one after the other in turn.
  22. And when, with the heat of winter one mouth
  23. kissed me,
  24. a cheek, with the heat of winter,
  25. lay like a wind against my own.
  26. What is that light now wedging
  27. between bifurcations and weaves
  28. of dry branches in the heat of winter …?
  29. Oh, that’s not the headlights of a car! It’s the moon!
  30. Like a gleam poured out from a shotglass.
  31. So pure it rings like silver.
  32. It pierced straight into the heat of winter.
  33. The two creatures kept kissing me,
  34. taking turns…
  35. One seemed to enter me with his mouth,
  36. centripetally,
  37. in his sweet barbaric peasant clothes
  38. his Sunday best
  39. The other seemed to fasten onto me with his mouth,
  40. centrifugally,
  41. eyes looking dead, or asleep,
  42. outside of himself
  43. from too much sweetness…
  44. The moon did not disturb our tangle.
  45. The only one with eyes open, I saw
  46. it rise, and when it was almost
  47. as high as the highest trees
  48. in the thicket, oh Virgil, Virgil…
  49. Sensuality and the moon are a joy
  50. when one is all alone.
  51.                                                                                                                             1962