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Hosts

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

                                        [Three hosts.] Would he who had possessed the friendship of the King of England, the King of Poland, and the Queen of Sweden, have believed he would lack a refuge and shelter in the world?
                                         -Pascal, Pensees, 177

Did such snow ever blanket Bethlehem?
It falls as final as the time of year
Across the crop or rocks that crown and hem

The outskirts of the village. Winter claims –
Definitive – irrevocable – some
Bizarre prerogative tonight. But rooms

Are filling up – so paying silver states
Its terms against the naked cold, which names
Its own price: in my bed a woman waits –

A Memphis slattern drawing ten percent,
Each random lay she scores for me. Our rates
Have risen since these hungry hoards that bent

Their pilgrim way – tremendous clouds of dust
Announced their mad arrival. Money spent
On taxes ought not strain rapport of guest

And host, ought they? So profits make as much
About the Law as Caesar’s laws can trust
The prophets’ words – though caves would gape at such

A prosperous teat to fete the Lupercal…
A steady wind is reaching out to touch
The embers in my hearth. I smell the stall

Across the dooryard but, by God, I’ll take
The whore (or who and when I want!). The inn
Abides. My board is blessed by holy luck,

Discerning honey from the turpentine.

Comments

  1. Big Jon Bully says:

    I don’t understand it, but it seems like a great poem. Thanks, JOB.

  2. Big Jon Bully says:

    It’s beautiful though.

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