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Curse of the Byzantine

by Ryan Nardi

I overheard an old man
sitting down to pee
like a woman,
and i recognized
a second pair of pants,
white plaid on olive pajamas;
his were not unlike mine.
Mine, olive plaid on off white.

And my eyes turned green
for his loafers,
darker and snugger than mine;
they yearned for a searcher,
often deserted in corners
for days at a time.

And I turned on my heel,
but I did not consider it then
that that very old man
would never now start up
and dance without music
as I just had,
would never attempt such maneuvers,
would never pass urine or manure
without making fists of his hands.

I turned, and I walked
a little too much like a man.
For men are not far from old men,
and young men get older and older;
whether they still choose to stand
during nature's demands
will depend on how the sand
falls and lands through the anus of glass
that wrenches from world to the next
with onerous, lumbering breath.

03/19/2008

Author's Note: very spontaneous, recollection of a stored memory from recent history. the old man is real, no more than a leg and a foot, but a testimony to the apathy of time.

Posted on 03/19/2008
Copyright © 2022 Ryan Nardi

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Matthew Zangen on 03/27/08 at 07:47 PM

Great work, Ryan. It is boggling how the old are not only wise themselves but can also inspire wisdom in others by their mere presence (albeit perhaps while urinating). The clarity with which you wrote this is impressive; it's a difficult concept to behold. Very clever title.

Posted by Quentin S Clingerman on 05/22/08 at 12:50 PM

A somber reflection on the fact of aging and that it isn't always pleasant but is inevitable!

Posted by Philip F De Pinto on 06/06/08 at 11:15 AM

the Byzantine may be cursed, but never never this ode, as it is blessed with event, entirely practical and innovative and once seeded in the soul is as far reaching and searching as tendrils, not content to remain inert.

Posted by Philip F De Pinto on 10/24/13 at 12:09 PM

congratulations on POTD. great write

Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 10/24/13 at 02:39 PM

A very fine POTD!

Posted by Linda Fuller on 10/24/13 at 03:57 PM

As I finished reading this poem, I said Wow! out loud (wol). I just love this poem and will add it to my favorites. Then I'm going to go snooping in your library.

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