Fellini in Purgatory, by Jean Valentine

He was shoveling sand
at the edge of the water, his heavy black glasses
glittered with rain:

“Don’t you see how much like a woman I am?”
Shovel, shovel.

His throat was wrapped in water,
and the water flowered with milt.

Shoveler, are you eating the earth?
Earth eating you?

Teach me
what I have to have
to live in this country.

And he, as calm as calm, though he was dead:
“Oh,—milt,—and we’re all of us milt.”

Father Lynch Returns from the Dead, by Jean Valentine

There’s one day a year
they can return,
if they want.
He says he won’t again.
I ask what it’s like—
he quotes St. Paul:
“Now hope is sweet.”
Then in his own voice.
Oh well it’s a great scandal,
the naked are easier to kill.