If the Shoe Fits 

... Britney proclaims her art, shake it, Shake it, "pecuniae cupiditas" ...


"Arma, cruor, caedes, incendia," yes, Arbiter,

Same old story, tale of, well, not love, gory

Doings, battle, blood, slaughter, fire, whole

Shebang, "totaque bella ante oculos volitant,"

Eyes bloody red, what they daily see,

Emperor off at villa, chopping cottonwood

On ranch, war, rumors of war, distant, but

Now with body bags, mercenaries or

At least the poor, no choice, more of them

Every day, while the rich, OK, the rich,

Surely, always with us, let sick heal sick,

Poor pack ERs, "deeper in debt," circuses,

Makeovers on every TV tube, "reality,"

Poetry, all arts debased, while everything

Is "art," Britney proclaims her art, shake it,

Shake it, "pecuniae cupiditas," you said it.


Sound familiar, Mr. P, whole damned

Thing? Not much difference twixt

Now, then? Love of money, yes,

Burn cities down entire, people

Too, makes things a little nicer for

The rich, always with us, chew

Our corpses to get what small change

We have, masticate the bloody cud,

No problem, swallow, no remorse,

Lichas as simpering bride, Fellini, yes,

But true enough to you, gay wedding,

Angry crowd outside, don't notice

What the rich, behind them, are up

To, always with us: "Quisquis habet

Nummos," you got the cash, "secura

Navigat aura," the wind is at your back. S

Copyright 2005 R.H.W. Dillard.

R.H.W. Dillard is the author of two novels, a collection of short fiction, two verse translations of classic Greek and Roman drama, and six volumes of poetry, most recently Sallies. He has been awarded the O.B. Hardison Jr. Poetry Prize and the Hanes Prize for Poetry, as well as lifetime achievement awards from the Virginia Writers Club and the Fellowship of Southern Writers.

Opinions expressed on the Back Page are those of the writer and not necessarily those of Style Weekly.

Editor's Note: These two poems were solicited by Style Weekly. The Back Page editors do not read unsolicited poetry submissions.

Letters to the editor may be sent to: letters@styleweekly.com



Latest in Back Page


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Connect with Style Weekly

Most Popular Stories

Copyright © 2021 Style Weekly
Richmond's alternative for news, arts, culture and opinion
All rights reserved
Powered by Foundation