U. S. Dhuga

Two Poems


My dear Dhuga,
It is again with regret that I find
myself putting pen to paper to remind
you—for you are likely reminded everyday
by the likeness of your boy to your dear wife—
that his boater is not lost at all: it is rife
with bluers and grey-

ers he has stashed away and ‘bedecked
with bedazzling rhinestones’—his words,
not mine. Just because he has been elected
into the Guild does not mean he should ‘chase birds’

nor ever use the term ‘birds’ when you and I know
precisely what he means. The Pigou
Society has been let down again,
and I’m afraid your boy will be sent down again

if he does not stop strutting round the Philathletic
Club with that cantaloupe stuck on the broom-stick.
That routine has lost its mirth. I do hope he enjoys
his time away from the boys

in La Rochelle and Chinon with you. But he really must
remember this: this “Ziggy Stardust”
he imitates has nothing to do with “dust to dust”.
Chapel can only bear so much detritus . . .

And one more thing: one more Skew
from the Beak, and he will no longer be a Pigou.

Do please send my regards to your wife.
If your boy turns out like her, he’ll do well in life.

Yours sincerely, Mark Morford


Having lost my billfold, having given
My post-punk talk on Shelley's riffs on Dante,
My thoughts turn priceably to what sort of man
I might be . . . Perpetually Pigou?
Every day is our derby day
In our polkadot digs. You full well knew
My Pigou Rise and Fall before you
Met me . . . Well, then, today I'm . . . Wilamowitz!
Tonight, perhaps, I'll shadow-box me in lieu
Of missed flights to you. Now no more Biarritz

For me, thank you. Neither ring nor play. It's
Both, not just one, of each. Don't mind gaps: mind us.
Mind raw facts: three dozen oysters at the Ritz,
Living what love we built in sofa-forts.

U. S. DHUGA is the author of Choral Identity and the Chorus of Elders in Greek Tragedy, published through Harvard University’s Center for Hellenic Studies in the series Greek Studies: Interdisciplinary Approaches (Lexington Books, 2011). His poetry and criticism have appeared in, among other places, The New Yorker, The Hudson Review, The New Criterion, PN Review, and The Southwest Review, which awarded Dhuga the 2004 Morton Marr Poetry Prize. Dhuga earned his Ph.D. in Classics at Columbia University in 2006; before becoming an Associate Fellow at the Münchner Zentrum für Antike Welten at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, he held professorships at Calvin College, Knox College, and Brandeis University. He lives in Toronto.