Sailing to the New Byzantium
 That is no safe haven
 For the timid.  With his battered rhyming
 Dictionary and ten or eleven
 Fresh first drafts, he begins by exclaiming,
 "There is nothing I need more
 Than a swift kick in the posterior
 "Of my soul," and--leaning close--,
 "The Muse has left me for three weeks now
 With only a couple handfuls of prose
 Poems and the stray free verse lyric."  (Pray
 That such abandonment not fall upon
 You, or you'll have to turn to translation.)
 But that very night the doors
 Of his perception are battered open
 While he sleeps off a half dozen Coors
 In the graduate dorm.  He dreams a dolphin,
 Yes! and a fire-spangled mannequin come
 Swooping in, like Herod secure in his kingdom.
 "I too was once as fearful
 As you," the mad king cries, "and trembled at
 Every legitimate and illegitimate
 Baby in a barn.  O gods, it was awful
 Until my Mariamne sat me down
 And ran her wet fingers inside my crown."
 He wakes in a sweat and gropes
 For his pen and notebook.  But they are gone!
 Nothing gleams in the moonlight but bottle caps
 And the wind-inspirited cellophane
 From a cigar.  And the first light of dawn
 Pricks him, like the sharp unfinished rhymes of "Kubla Khan."