verse by other means



 Carmine Starnino


From Nine from Rome

Dear Norm,

Nights we duck in and out of shoe shops
on Via del Corso, because by then I’ve had enough,
and tired of antiquities, join the droves
alive and giddy for goods that fill the hand,
following in the footsteps of all those who chased the latest thing
and died, leaving relics rescued from time
as we won’t be, but hurry to meet it, our sensual self,
to call down its double from a sleek shelf:
low-slung, square-front, suede mule, loafer.
Something extraordinary is always on offer,
and afterwards Jen and I heel it home with items
that redeem us by their price, their fit. And that’s just
a start! Five senses tingling from self-ogling,
vanities fresh in bud, we crave a thrill too quick for art.

—from This Way Out, Gaspereau Press, 2009