La Vita Nuova (for Ario Zamani)

by Aidan Andrew Dun

This is dedicated to a brilliant painter-friend, quite reclusive, not seen often enough.


A forked tongue venting psycho-rage
through smoky December evening:
falsetto bellowings down a phoneline.

Out in the nocturnal cityscape, does she,
answering from fogbound towerblock,
outcurse the madman at the other end?

They are one obscene hermaphrodite,
this decapitated ghost of Ario’s painting.
Why separate them into better and worse?

Here a black cobra with only one eye
crowns the red head of a spitting Satan
mounted on a golden model’s perfect torso.

One who loves is higher: heart-science.
One only loved, feeling nothing in return,
wanders beneath London Fields in winter.

I passed this way on an afternoon long ago,
stooping and throwing my guts in the grass,
squinting at a taser-carrying sun.

Now I rise and drink vinegar at dawn
as instructed recently by three angels in one,
according to the book called La Vita Nuova.