Freaks, Irregulars, Defects, Oddities

Original Text: 

Matt Rader. A Doctor Pedalled Her Bicycle Over the River Arno. Toronto, Ontario: House of Anansi Press, 2011.

1An ill-minted coin, a monocle
2     Chained to a tuxedo,
3The moon croons to strip-clubs,
4     And late-night burrito
5Shops, lovers on pedicab tours
6     Of the harbour. Placido
7Domingo on the stereo with merlot
8     And fetuccine alfredo.
9A night for werewolves, hairy
10     Men sporting speedos
11And high heels on the club stroll,
12     “The Streets of Loredo”
13On ukulele and pennywhistle
14     Down at the lido
15Where a shot-wrecked Aeneas
16     Meets his new Dido.
17Virgil, installed in a corner stall
18     Puts pen to graffito:
19“Tally-ho! Damn the torpedoes!
20     Bandita hearts Bandito!”1
21Oh, tragic pyred Queen of Tyre,
22     It’s Fido not Dido
23That translates as faithful,2
24     The “Fido”-fido credo
25On love Dante witnesses mid-canto
26     When Aeneas snubs Dido
27In the second circle where she’s been unjustly gaoled
28     For her raging—3
29Now Freaks, Irregulars, Defects, Oddities,
30     People of the low, low albedo,
31  Let this be your motto:
32     “Love” the word not the weirdo.
1Virgil's friend Dante's best Fido
     Was "A Lady Loves Me" author Calvacanti, Guido.
2"Testicle," to the Roman tongue, sounded out "orchido."
     3Spanish Guy Fawkes goes by Fawkes, Guido.
RPO poem Editors: 
Jim Johnstone
RPO Edition: 
Special Copyright: 

Reproduced with permission from House of Anansi Press, Toronto.