DUCE

Old men: recounting navy
Life and shooting the rats as they
Clawed up at nights
While Rome--
Ah, poor cultures, who
Have such Glory to shadow
Them,
Who live among
Bronze-stone ruins--like
Greatness
Poor Rome,
Rank--the peasants shuffle beneath
The Coliseum, then
Convene.
Someone is carving out the Past;
They do of course--those cultures
Crippled, by a shifting World,
Where Any-Where falls to the Side,
The People Convene:
"Duce!" "Duce!" "Duce!"
While: underneath in bone-ribbed
Catacombs the sewer-mists of that
Very same Past echo
In increasingly cautionary
Tones:
"Caesar--" "Caesar--" "Caesar---"
But the People live aboveground (so they believe)
And time waits where a man is not shot,
Spit upon, no--time yet, time yet, the
Old man:
"Duce!"
And the seething humanity
That once licked the blood of the
Arena--dying now gorge
Upon themselves and a shadow,
Cast, meshes with hateful
Pasts, a shadow
Particularly--a great work of
Art, a Maestro--a man, perhaps,
A man with his crude words and pacifist
People and his Violin--
And we now
(Now) hide away our humanity
We now
(Now) hide away our past and go
Thru' catacombed lives wrapped
In shame that we,
We could have been among those shouting
Too:
A man with all men's need for
The flesh of all men, the bone, the blood,
The Oath--glinting hard-eyed
Fascist at the crumbling Ruins,
A Quivering Violin--
Shoot at the rats
And the bleached remains of Anzio,
Along Monte Cassino, the Old Romans
Echo the same warning:
Duce--

Do not be too human.