For Catullus

I am self punished
I flagellate my ego
and wring despair
from my eyes
which had no vision
that my Clodia
was not mine,
but belonged to anyone
who would titillate
her nakedness
and cut to the hunt
for the next conquest.

She feigned interest
in my thousand kisses
and tormented my longing
for as long as she wanted.
The power was in her court
and I was a ball
to be batted by her
until the sport was over.
then in—and out—
in a game and match
of passionate embraces
and sexual acrobatics.
Nymphomaniacs feel
no attachment commitment
or true intimacy.
It is in the act
that they find solace
and unquenchable thirst.
A vagina mind
a whore’s market.

Oceanus’ tears will wash
my eyes clean
and I can see then
’though I loved her
it was misplaced.
It could not be
ripped up and re-planted
in another woman’s labia,
to find—“love that is stripped
of love and is merely crime”[1]

The vision revenge is clear.
That man behaves like Lesbia[2]
and follows his penis brain
to the next target
in a cloud of
hormonal helplessness.
He cannot resist
the tug of the erection
the command to penetrate.
He will crucify love
on the cross of conquests.
And women will have—
“minds ruined by fatal constancy.”[3]

This is the evil eye
and the double curse.
“I hate and I love.
And if you ask me why,
I have no answer,
but I discern, can feel,
my senses rooted in eternal torture.”[4]

[1] Catullus’ Poem 91

[2] Catullus’ mistress Clodia was called Lesbia in his poetry out of respect for the rule of not publicly naming your mistress.


[3] Catullus’ Poem 75

[4] Catullus’ Poem 85