Pompeii on the Po

from by Lee Foust

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Berlusconi is Vesuvious.



Broken bones. Broken bones and banks.

Streets long and narrow with poverty and spit. Spit spat up outta sore summer throats. Fever under a blackened sun. Perched on a porch in a plaster cast. Tequila—and broken bones.

Broken bones. Broken bones and banks.

Don’t have a dime—or belief in. Fever. Sneezing up a sore summer throat. You want to scream through the broken glass that feels like your throat. Spit on your hands. Plaster, poverty, penalty.

Broken bones. Broken bones and banks.

Cities buried in ash. A TV Pope and the clown of Tangentopoli sing “padania” for fun and profit. Oh, he’s alive all right and spewing ash over a culture that gets in the way of his bank breaking, cash. Hands up! They break your bones in the back; you spit on the streets. You’re afraid to talk through your shattered throat. Shoved down our. Fever-blackened sky. In plaster casts, centuries pass—still huddled by the sea, covering our faces with plaster hands.

Broken bones. Broken bones and the beat of the waves.

Waiting to escape. An ash-blackened sky tears at our eyes, tears at our throats. It tears at our hands. Your breath turns black, your back turns blue: beaten, despised—when the racists bank on a government backed by bankers.

Broken bones. Broken bones in ash.

Your sweat dries in the plaster cast.



from Sputnik, released March 11, 2016


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Lee Foust Florence, Italy

Lee Foust is an author and performer from Oakland, California who has lived in Florence, Italy since the mid-1990s. He teaches for various US universities abroad and is the father of one. Lee is the author of Sojourner, a collection of short stories and poems about the mystery of place, and Poison and Antidote, 9 Bohemian tales of San Francisco during the Reagan era. ... more

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