Catullus at the New York Stock Exchange

Verily, it’s amazing how you can gamble with money
You don’t even have. Caesar would have banished
You to the land of the Picts. Some say they practice
Cannibalism there. It’s funny how you do whatever

The machine tells you to do. I was dining with Virgil
Last Feralia (roast pheasant, a splendid meal), and
He predicted this would happen. We couldn’t fly and
Didn’t have horseless chariots, but we had plenty of

Oysters, the Hippocratic Oath, clean air and water, no
GMOs, and lots of sex. (Praise be to Jupiter). Speaking
Of oysters, Ammianus Marcellinus says these dainties
Are up 274.39% – Sicilian of course, not Carthaginian.

That’s a tip from Catullus, a touch of divine wisdom can
Never hurt. You know your poets really are a gaggle of
Lunatics. They don’t even know what they’re saying. You
Want to show me your Rolex? I’m wearing a necklace

Personally given to me by Minerva and consecrated by
The Oracle at Delphi. What does this mean, “Stay mum
On insider trading?” Now you want to have me escorted
From the premises? While you’re imbibing and dancing

With strippers after having sold your pharma stock, I’ll be
Hanging out with Venus and Apollo. I’m going to have to
Tell Octavian about this. Ha, these guys don’t even have
Swords! I’m Catullus! I’ll kick your butt with my iambics!

David Penner has taught English and ESL within the City University of New York and at Fordham. His articles on politics and health care have appeared in CounterPunch, Dissident Voice, Dr. Linda and KevinMD; while his poetry has been published with Dissident Voice. Also a photographer, he is the author of three books: Faces of Manhattan Island, Faces of The New Economy, and Manhattan Pairs. He can be reached at: 321davidadam@gmail. Read other articles by David.