Saturday, October 8, 2016

Poetry & Portraits: Livia

By Eric Meub


My Lares are Lorazepam and guilt,
my Cicero is Amy Vanderbilt,
but there’s no Seneca to set me free
from Greco-Roman grandiosity.

The vestal glazes virgins in the worn
and vacant virtues better vessels scorn;
the temple shields beneath its Roman eaves
the god in whom no Roman still believes.

I crave the greedy daring-do of Greece
(until it falls on me to play police),
and wonder how my Mycenaean climb
descended to a Roman end-of-time.

I ask my husband would it not be best
to split domestic empire east from west?
Decline is dull, but Fall is action-packed:
the Better Homes & Gardens end up sacked.

Copyright © 2016 by Eric Meub
Eric Meub, architect, lives and practices in Pasadena. He is the adopted brother of the artist, Susan C. Price. They respect, in their different ways, the line.


  1. One reading of Eric Meub's thrilling poem analogizing Roman Empire times with Livia's contemporary times has it that Livia is attempting to rationalize asking her husband for a divorce....

  2. Enjoyed your poem with my coffee this morning, thanks Eric.