Midsummer Nut-Brown Ale by Carmine Di Biase I’m not some common fairy, some jackass, born low with no ambition but to serve! Now Mustardseed and Cobweb—oh, they love to fetch the bee from its sweet pregnant flower and to their pampered master bring the juice. I roam free, guided only by the moon. I can round the earth, even reach the moon, if I am rested. Could a tethered ass fly like me to the West, find Cupid’s juice and, by sunset, have it ready to serve to some sleeping dolt? Squeezed out from its flower, it can move cold cobblestones to hot love. Yes, I blundered! I made the wrong boy love. They all looked the same under that pale moon. That boy—what chaos!—wanted to deflower the girl on sight! Oberon kicked my ass for that whole mess, said I did not deserve the privilege of handling that rare juice. But ah this—this fine pint of nut-brown juice!— will make me whole. Did Oberon not love how well I groomed that vain Bottom to serve his turn on shrill Titania? She was moon- struck by a hairy, long-eared, braying ass: to her he seemed brave manhood in full flower! And you, Hippolyta, you old pressed flower, you trophy bride, already out of juice on nuptial day! You desiccated ass! When Pyramus and Thisbe’s tragic love became a comedy, the very moon smiled on those actors who had come to serve their story to you. May your bile preserve that frown of yours, that rumpled cauliflower poor Theseus kissed on his numb honeymoon! So may you warn the young, whose brains the juice of life addles. Let’s talk no more of love. Raise high your glasses to my favorite ass! Bottoms up! Serve me one more nut-brown juice! Have I offended you, my flower, my love? If I should moon you, kindly spank my ass.
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Moon-inspired poetry featuring John Peter Beck, Carmine Di Biase, Nancy Cook, and Beatriz Seelaender – Viewless Wings Poetry Podcast
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Carmine Di Biase writes about English and Italian literature, and his poems have appeared in various journals. Last year his English translations of thirteen poems by Cesare Pavese appeared in L’anello che non tiene: Journal of Modern Italian Literature. Occasionally he reviews books for the Times Literary Supplement. He has recently retired as Distinguished Professor of English at Jacksonville State University in Alabama. His chapbook of poems, American Rondeau, is due out from Finishing Line Press in August of 2022.