PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
Most Read... Rebecca WattsThe Cult of the Noble Amateur
(PN Review 239)
Mark FordLetters And So It Goes
Letters from Young Mr Grace
(aka John Ashbery)

(PN Review 239)
Henry Kingon Toby Martinez de las Rivas
(PN Review 244)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
M. Wynn ThomasThe Other Side of the Hedge
(PN Review 239)
Next Issue Sharif Elmusa on Mourid Barghouti Lorna Goodison Christmas Poem Brian Morton Now Patricia Craig Val Warner: a reminiscence John McAuliffe Bill Manhire in Conversation
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PNR 250 Poetry Archive Banner
Monthly Carcanet Books
PN Review Blog

This poem is taken from PN Review 251, Volume 46 Number 3, January - February 2020.

Martial Duncan Wu
Issa the Pisser

Martial, Epigrams 1.109

Who scraps harder than Catullus’s badass
Sparrow? Who’s purer than Milton’s impreg-
nating dove, hotter than the Flying
Scorpion, pole-riding Empress of Lap-
land, swankier than a facefull of
The wildest beluga caviar? Yes,
Issa, that darling lapdog of Publius.
She yelps with the acid tongue of silver-
Palated Demosthenes on the
Humiliations and ecstasies of
The canine condition. And when she needs
A piss, lovely Issa, the sheets remain spotless;
She raises her snout from her pillow, gazes
Deep in his eyes, scrapes his cheek with her

Searching, please wait... animated waiting image