nero (and other colours)
or why aren't we as clever as the ancients ?

admitting * your faults
were those of the white lilies
or Timon of Athens—
so the city crumbled
perished *
a bit
what city hasn't ?
either you go to the war
or the war comes to etc
yes * there were riots
and the stars dipped and fell and
would not obey the * August
motions * premonitory
but blame the Vestals ! * who
after all
told you to follow Tiresias
into the badlands
and to read exile blankly
in a clutch * of crows ?
yes * I know they were circling
but isn't that * in August
when the dry winds are up
the sort of thing * forgive me
that crows do ?

 

love poem 14


blush *
in the too plush burgundy
of my devotion * nook
where even
the velvet has desires * (malsains)
and nothing is denied * nothing
and nobody * nobody * know
it will not do you any good
to hide the myrrh * or
to call the eunuchs
all sent away * my darling
to roam the desert
on a sham quest * of my instigation
cunning * my love is
and ruthless and
about as sure
as the ashen soils * are unforgiving
and your eyes of * a blueness
the darkness would be proud of


Nicholas Manning graduated from the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia with a B.A in Comparative Literature and French. He was then a recipient of a three year scholarship to the Ecole normale supérieure in Paris, where he is currently completing his second year of study. Last year he took his Maîtrise (MA Degree) at the Sorbonne with a thesis on the contemporary french poet Philippe Jaccottet. His poetry has appeared, or is soon to appear, in the following literary journals : Free Verse, Fire, Obsessed With Pipework, Imago, Centoria, Scope.