In a damp Naples lane
a young Dutchman grown old
keeps his eyes to the ground
for the day’s glinting prize
of a bright orphaned coin;
his bottle is brimful
of love’s hurt and loss
stirred to venom within
as he lies down and squints
at a void dark and vague
that resembles the graves
of his catacombed heart;
and the billboard above says
‘See Naples and die’
Near to Napoli Bay
in her penthouse de jour
a French mam’selle looks out
as she stands in a fog
of Chanel No. 5;
the glass wall reflects
her glazed eyes and the hate
that the last boy who left her
bequeathed to her heart
his love now replaced
by her lines of white dust
and the needle’s soft cloud;
and the billboard below says
‘See Naples and die’
31 thoughts on “See Naples and Die”
Very sad. Two such different people who hurt.
Tragedy is to be found everywhere Red. Thank you for your reading and interpretative feedback – greatly appreciated.
Ah yes… death in Naples. Beautifully written. The old man brings to mind Thomas Mann in more southern climes…
Thank you kindly, not by any means would I attempt to emulate Mann – even if I did get the country right 😀
Love it, Mike. Nicely done. Lyrical, songlike. Great theme. —Chagall
An abundance of affirmations from a respected poet – thanks CC.
This is the type of poem that really makes you think. I like it!
Yours is the type of feedback that really makes me proud. Thank you very much.
Wonderful writing Mike:
“the graves of his catacombed heart”…perfection.
Thanks H – the dictionary went out the window at that line 😀
Quite powerful parallel in this. I’m not too sure that billboard would entice me to visit. Do they knock off their tourists?
Thanks Victoria, I think the slogan intended that once one had been there your life would be fulfilled.
A lovely poem and I hope my fellow countryman found the coin.
Thank you Ina – I may have to write a sequel for your compatriot…
This is a very lovely and poignant poem. I am reminded of my friend who was born in Napoli many years ago.
I’m pleased that this resonated with you Cheryl-Lynn. Thanks for reading and commenting.
Well, the title did give a thing away 🙂 Terrific juxtaposition linking.
I was hoping that readers would associate the title with the old advertising campaign but also knew that some astute readers would see the literal truth. Thank you for your feedback and lovely compliment S.
What an eloquently written contrast in lives- one in poverty and one in wealth- and yet both in despair.
Well done, Mike.
Your astute interpretation is only one of the reasons I like to have you call around – thanks DVH
Very powerful! Nicely done!
Mille grazie joe
I haven’t been to Naples, Italy, so I’m happy to be alive to read this poem! I have been to Naples, Florida, which is a golfing/retirement town but that’s more “move to Naples and die”.
Touché & Thanks 😀
You’ve just put a fine feather in my hat for the day.
‘A bright orphaned coin, Mike’ are we all not on the look out for that rainbows end?
I am enjoying the micropoetry – you a most active/productive mind.
Kind words greatly appreciated Chris – many thanks.
A brilliant line: “of his catacombed heart”
I’m glad you spotted that – my terror of stepping outside the dictionary was nearly the death of me 🙂 Many thanks.
You’re welcome. It is a good feeling to know terror and defeat it.