Concerto Grosso

By Robert Beveridge

Lips sing hymns to Louis-Ferdinand
Céline with one mouth, Antione d’Agata
with the other. Your hands have been cupped
around so many asses your fingers have frozen
in place as if arthritic, or as if the wind
had changed as you groped a statue
of the Venus de Milo. Or my wife. Struck
with a sense of déjà vu, you returned
to the monkey house at the zoo, looked
for the gibbon with the lizard stripes
who played French horn with Beiderbecke
in the twenties. They said he drank
himself to death in the lions’ enclosure.
That’s enough to make anyone blush.

Another day without a client. Your PI
business threatens to grind to a halt.
But you can’t bear to lose the blonde
with torpedo tits who answers the phone.
There has to be a jazz musician
with an adulterous wife somewhere in this town.
Pick up the phone and call the new aquarium.
The bones of plesiosaurs mingle
with the gluteus maximi of the Mona Lisa,
a dozen slave girls, and Cherie Currie.
Sushi-grade indeed. Your fingers ache
in anticipation. You hum a few bars.


Robert Beveridge makes noise ( and writes poetry just outside Cleveland, OH. Recent/upcoming appearances in Chiron Review, Pink Litter, and The Literateur, among others.