A reading of Byron in Venice. The link should take you to the audio.
(The poet in exile)
The debris of a city in decline
slops at the crumbling steps,
as the sun sets over palaces
even dusk can’t dignify.
The clock strikes, he puts down the page
and calls for servants. Suddenly
cannot remember if he is to meet
the opera singer or the serving maid.
No matter how elaborate the choreography,
his hands run free, his mind completes the rhyme.
Afterwards, duty done, excuses made,
he’ll coax these stanzas to their climax
and scrawl defiance on the blank of time’s indifference,
graffiti on the walls of history.
He has explored the tangled pathways of his heart
and written travelogues for those who stayed at home.
If that leads here, to age and desolation;
the fading light, broken on the Grand Canal,
where life is repetition, and even lust grows stale;
the boys and women he has loved
the friends he misses as he dines alone,
faded signatures on bundled letters,
locks of hair, old arguments the night returns;
if it leads here; beyond the poem, what remains?
An aging face, once beautiful,
staring through its own reflection,
soliciting an audience
to dignify the commonplace as art?
Poem is taken from 'From Rough Spun to Close Weave'. Signed Copies available from the shop at Www.Liamguilar.com