Nail Chiodo

Loud in War

Canto XIII

Of most men we know and, of those such as Lud,
We understand: whenever they can get laid as gut
Demands, they will1
. All talk of choice in such matters
Is zilch: whether faithfully married or recidivist bachelor,
Every man must at times in bereavement exclaim:
Ich kann nicht anders!2” An obscene, searing pain
Is felt on the instant when Cupid’s arrows but graze;
Almost always it lasts at most a few days
And leaves a cute scar on the memory.
Darts with a more fatal trajectory
Sink into the skin, attain the homeostatic station
Of love. “Was it at first sight?” is the question
All lovers ask themselves and each other,
Wondering why they ever went to the bother
To fall into such a state in the first place.
Though expunged almost from such grace
After as many close calls as any cat can afford,
Lud had still one last bullet in store
To either use on himself or hold in the holster.
Eutychia was the quid3 prevented the former:
One might say that she bolstered him
Into finding his quietus in quim.
Graecia capta4 again, this time through the unassuming
Person of a woman of an aetas rasa5,
For whom the bottom line was (and still is)
The satisfaction of primary needs: things
Such as food, shelter, health care, sex,
Property and freedom of movement, not in excess
But properly endowed with their spiritual dimension6
Religion, politics, hype and anal retention
She and Lud avoid because too much to handle.
And so they abide, as two little manimals
Au temps de grande sécheresse sur la Terre7;
Meanwhile Rome, undaunted, keeps sounding the fanfare,
Proud to follow its eternal calling:
Today, the birth rate is appalling8;
Tomorrow, it’s the death toll that grows9;
Not a minute too soon, it will be the clones
Who save the race from extinction.
Parthenogenesis could cut the friction
Between the two sexes, abolish all that’s original
In sin, preclude incest, raise the virginal
To vocation one might pass on to one’s children;
If the face is the best image of the spirit10, then
It will still be Life’s brush exalts the contours;
Besides, it’s the egg has got all the mitochondria11
And la Mamma12 will always be la Mamma.

  1. cf. Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War 5.105.2 (“Of men we know and of the gods we understand that whenever they can rule, they will”: the reply of the Athenian ambassadors to the oligarchs of Melos, who refused to accept enslavement.)

  2. Ger. “I cannot do otherwise!”; exclaimed by Martin Luther to explain his break with the Catholic Church.

  3. Lat. “this”, the “given”.

  4. abbreviated form of Horace’s dictum “Graecia capta ferum victorem cepit et artes intulit agresti Latio”, Lat. “Conquered Greece subjugated the proud victor [Rome] and introduced the arts in agrarian Lazio [region of Italy where Rome is located]”.

  5. Lat. “blank (or primordial) generation”.

  6. cf.Northrop Frye, Op. cit.

  7. Fr. “At the time of great dryness on the Earth.” cf. Saint-John Perse, Amitié du Prince.

  8. the birth rate in Italy at this writing is the lowest in the world (circa 1.2 children/couple); at this rate, Italians will disappear almost completely in a few hundred years. Most other industrialized countries are prey to the same tendency.

  9. the percentage of the elderly, on the other hand, is rapidly increasing.

  10. Wittgenstein’s variation of the Latin original: “The face is the mirror of the spirit”, Philosophical Investigations, part 2, sect. 4.

  11. the mitochondria, which are located in the cytoplasm and are therefore a part of the enucleated ovule that is used as a “receptacle” for the nucleus of a somatic cell in the cloning process, contain less than 50 genes/cell whereas nuclei contain more than 50,000; but the contribution of their genetic material to the overall constitution of organisms is quite considerable. Only in the case of an autogamous female clone, in fact, will an exact duplicate at the physiological level be produced.

  12. It. “Mother”.