A new poem by Max Ghiara

Diogenes in the School of Athens

Diogenes of Sinope, sprawled on the steps, has a robe that is as blue
As the one that Aristotle’s wearing, standing behind him. He’s sure it’s time he threw
Out the ridiculous papers he is reading which one of the phalanx of greeters
Dropped, rushing to mob Plato & Aristotle, as if they were more than philosophers,
Kings! When the king of kings was already in their midst though even his bones
Were indistinguishable from any others because no man owns
The scaffolding that lifts him up so he can stand and paint a ceiling or a wall like this.
Straddle a horse, point his sword at earth: Mine! But only till the fall into the abyss.
Wonders if he should get up so that Aristotle can climb down the steps or if
His coming fall will make Plato stop, lose his thread & if all those greeters will sniff
At him like the dogs they would aspire to be if he let them get around his rejection
& Taught them, lolling in his bathtub, eating or farting, with every question.
Or jerked off into his palm so often they stopped holding their breath
When they saw that & till he got so bored he held his own, & death
Ended it, made a fine picture of students grieving over a dead Master! Or he
Just launched his bathtub on an open sea,
Looking for pirates
Or the island where Circe
Would turn him into a dog, and then fuck him while Hesiod
Named the three little dogs that came out, seeing Gods
Where, of course, there weren’t any.