This is my second visit to Venice
I’ve come in search of Ezra Pound
I tilt this way and that on the water-taxi
An Aschenbaah to find Death out

At four I arise at St. Mark’s
A latter-day Doge in his sleeping city
All gold with Byzantium’s salvaged wealth
With Turks stopping noses at Resurrections stench

There drams an imaged cathedral
Over/The Cathedral’s portals
And reflection on water is the city’s strength

From Ferrovia (Santa Lucia) to Cametiére
The lagoon curves
Beyond, is the glassblowers’ Murano
Where bubbles burst

Or, come out as crystal
enduring years
But broken, at a touch

I will never see these cloud-
mountains again
I do not bring back dust
from these poets’ graves
I go as I came profitless and alone
I, useless as that Mary*, who could not even a timepiece save


*That Mary: Also refers to Olga Rudge’s admonition to daughter Mary who lost her father Ezra Pound’s watch during the War. (Source: Mary de Rachewiltz, Discretions, New Diretions: 1973)