by Lee Passarella

This wallpaper is killing me; one of us has got to go.

—last words of Oscar Wilde

A pale (though beefily substantial) ghost,
he haunted streets that’d feted him before.
He preyed on countrymen who’d heard the lore
about his fall. Yet none presumed to boast
superiority—played gentle host
instead, since the absinthe he favored more and more
was so well recompensed: the endless store
of epigrams and bon mots, all but lost

on poor old proper England now. Still, he
had little luck in Paris streets, as free,
almost, of love for him as London ’s. So,
when money came—infrequently—he bought
love. Death was just an afterthought, a blow
as slight as his least sin. A minor blot.

© 2007 by Lee Passarella








About the Author

Lee Passarella acts as senior literary editor for Atlanta Review magazine and as associate editor for the new literary journal FutureCycle Poetry.

Passarella's poetry has appeared in many periodicals and ezines. Swallowed up in Victory, his long narrative poem based on the American Civil War, was published by White Mane Books in 2002. It has been praised by poet Andrew Hudgins as a work that is "compelling and engrossing as a novel." Passarella's poetry collection The Geometry of Loneliness (David Robert Books) appeared in 2006. His poetry chapbook Sight-Reading Schumann will be published by Pudding House Publications later this year.

Lee Passarella's website:


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