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About this Poem 

"I was fascinated, reading Catullus translated by Peter Whigham, how he writes in several modes that are unpopular today: letters and maledictions in particular. And he calls everyone by name. So I wrote a letter to my uncle. I was also interested in seeing if I could write differently, and Catullus and I sure write differently. Like many of his, this poem is only one sentence."
Matthew Rohrer

After Catullus

Matthew Rohrer

If you, Tom, could see this inflight video map

of the world turning wildly on its axis

you would not, I think, be mad, though it is not

on paper, and that is what you do, but it is

a useful thing to see the earth twisted up like this;

it is our minds that are twisted, and you

are twisted too around a spoon, and drunk, I’m sure

by now, like me, past Newfoundland’s shore

with other peoples’ wine and dotted lines

to Bruxelles where I will only be

to switch planes, but you, I think, first went

there of all the other places you’ve been,

gobbling up the light as you went,

sending presents wrapped in maps.

Copyright © 2013 by Matthew Rohrer. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on May 7, 2013. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.

Copyright © 2013 by Matthew Rohrer. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on May 7, 2013. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.

Matthew Rohrer

Matthew Rohrer

The author of several collections of poetry, Matthrew Rohrer's book A Hummock in the Malookas was selected for the National Poetry Series

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1. Though our radiator is painted the color of the walls we know he's there. Whatever we set on top of him bursts angrily into flame. He has come to be known as Petulant. He has come to be known as Wasted Space. To be contrary, the radiator will not heat us when we need it. "If only I could find his fucking face,"

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Money cannot find me. 
I try to be reasonable but money is horridly banal. 
Money, blow and blow is what I think about you. 
Street urchins make more than me. 
Water tastes funny without cups. 
How far will I go? 
Jingle jingle jingle. 
Despite holes that compromise living rooms, friends visit. 
Money money and
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Central Park in a
pavilion of leaves
with extra sauce
for midday
is only a snack
and a photograph
of cold cherries
like a young woman's
legs softly peeling
after burning
a pennywhistle
in the distance
with the piping children's
voices which are