Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ITALIAN PICTURES: THE COSTA SAN GIORGIO, by MINA LOY

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

ITALIAN PICTURES: THE COSTA SAN GIORGIO, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: We english make a tepid blot
Last Line: Onto the middle of the street
Alternate Author Name(s): Cravan, Arthur, Mrs.; Lowy, Mina Gertrude; Haweis, Stephen, Mrs.
Subject(s): Italy; Italians

We English make a tepid blot
On the messiness
Of the passionate Italian life-traffic
Throbbing the street up steep
Up up to the porta
In the stained frescoe of the dragon-slayer

The hips of women sway
Among the crawling children they produce
And the church hits the barracks
The greyness of marching men
Falls through the greyness of stone

Oranges half-rotten are sold at a reduction
Hoarsely advertised as broken heads
BROKEN HEADS and the barber
Has an imitation mirror
And Mary preserve our mistresses from seeing us as we see ourselves
Licking is larger than mouths
Boots than feet
Slip Slap and the string dragging
And the angle of the sun
Cuts the whole lot in half

And warms the folded hands
Of a consumptive
Left outside her chair is broken
And she wonders how we feel
For we walk very quickly
The noonday cannon
Having scattered the neighbour's pigeons

The smell of small cooking
From luckier houses
Is cruel to the maimed cat
Among the carpenter's shavings
From three boys
-- One holding a bar --
Who nevertheless
Born of human parents
Cry when locked in the dark

Fluidic blots of sky
Shift among roofs
Between bandy legs
Jerk patches of street

Interrupted by clacking
Of all the green shutters
From which
Bits of bodies
Variously leaning
Mingle eyes with the commotion

For there is little to do
The false pillow-spreads
Hugely initialed
Already adjusted
On matrimonial beds
And the glint on the china virgin
Consummately dusted

Having been thrown
Anything or something
That might have contaminated intimacy
Onto the middle of the street

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