Ergon: Greek / American Arts and Letters (19 Sept. 2018).




The god, his humors petrified as veins

in roughhewn marble, was going down

feet first from the quarry, down to the port

where there is now a whitewashed village—from there

to the other side of the sea,


which moves in front of the tables,

the wobbly blue and white taverna,

only enough to glisten. I climbed

until I had the whole of him at my feet.

I had as well as a wedge of spinach pie


a plastic half-liter of Naxian red.

It came to me to stream a swallow down

on that colossal archaic rockhead,

effaced though he had been by wind and rain—

as also sprang to mind this god


as a fidgety infant snug in the crook of an arm,

his older brother jangling grapes

to disenthrall the spirited boy

from who knows what is making him fuss, while I’d

inspirit a lull, would rouse the weather


inveined in coolheaded marble. Up

the mountainside, the flight of slippery

marble slabs, into the quarry

schoolchildren surged, to scramble up

the unfinished god, to scurry over him,


between the stubs of reaching arms to plop,

from bearded chin to feet (a pedestal

this column never stood on, much less danced

as Dionysus) to heel-walk slide—

a revel of wind and rain in the vineyards.