Poetry about Traveling — playing with high and low language for power

Check out this poem by Charlie Smith, about a journey through Rome. Notice the way he tells a down-to-earth story with smart (and smart-ass) language, earning a punchline that’s both ironic and humanizing….

Crostatas

in rome I got down among the weeds and tiny perfumed
flowers like eyeballs dabbed in blood and the big ruins
said do it my way pal while starlings
kept offering show biz solutions and well the vatican
pursued its interests the palm trees like singular affidavits
the wind succinct and the mountains painted blue
just before dawn accelerated at the last point
of departure before the big illuminated structures
dug up from the basement got going and I ate crostatas
for breakfast and on the terrace chatted
with the clay-faced old man next door and said I was
after a woman who’d left me years ago and he said lord aren’t we all.

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