Poem: Groaning with Graffiti

In the style of Denise Levertov, poet (1923-1997)

The Ludovisi Dionysus with panther, satyr and grapes on a vine (Palazzo Altemps, Rome) Dionysus: God of the Grape Harvest, Wine-making, Wine, Ritual Madness, Religious Ecstasy, Fertility and Theatre.

Three years the poem

of your body, of my

eyes upon your body

of my hands reading

each muscle—

Stroking, sweeping the

scent in the rite of

worship, going down

from the beat of a neck

vein, along broad shoulders,

twisted hair trail,

belly to cock.

For three years that poem, unwritten,

trapped in my mind, not wanting to

share that I lie with Dionysus,

fear that women would take my treasure

or a god, hearing my boast, would end you



Ariadne is abandoned in Naxos, not knowing she will become the wife of mighty Dionysus Painting by John William Waterhouse


4 thoughts on “Poem: Groaning with Graffiti

    • Thanks susanissima! Started reading Denise Levertov, an English/American poet, from the 50’s. She used the word “cock” in her poem and it was such a shock to my system, I tried my hand at it. …oh wait, that sounds funny. It’s a shocking word to some, but when I think about a FEMALE POET in the early 20th century using it, it gives it more power. Her awards: Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts, US & Canada, Robert Frost Medal, Lannan Literary Award for Poetry


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