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OCTOBER 2005

> THE NEOCLASSICIST WRITES HIS BEST POEM | w. loran smith

Sipping a Campari and soda, he keeps drifting
to his favorite canal right off the Basilica de San Marco,
Roman sun lapping up against the lacquered gondolas.
Taking a dripping bite of a Cherry Moon organic pear,
he checks his inconspicuous ultra-thin Bertolucci watch
to see how long he's been slaving at this poem.
Even the lightly starched collar of his lavender,
sea island, one hundred and twenty-five count,
button down cotton shirt is damp and slightly wrinkled.
He wonders why he suffers these indignities of being obscure,
tries to kiss his muse before the Borzoi needs to go out,
before his bride asks another question about the sixties.
Thin lead on soft rag paper, he starts to write a stunning poem
that drips like his pear with sweet metaphorical flourishes.
Deeper and deeper he goes into the psyche of a young Ali.
He can almost feel the lunch counter, the cool stainless steel,
his muscles twitch with anticipation, with righteous anger,
watching the medal spin like a gold discus into the rusty Ohio.
Then finishing the poem, he falls back into his leather chair,
singing every cell of his being, a lullaby of oft requited genius.

> BIOGRAPHY | about the author

W. Loran Smith is a poet who lives in Louisville, Kentucky. He released a book called Night Train a few years ago and a new one called Walking Upright is forthcoming.