Europeans Extolled Aztec Architecture, Then Destroyed It
— The Life Millennium
by David Starkey
- Also beloved were tobacco, tomatoes and cocaine—what
- wasn’t there to like
- about the far side of the world?
- The Europeans I know seem all right.
- They regret WWI and II and Bosnia,
- and so forth.
- Name a famous Mozart symphony,
- they can probably whistle the opening theme.
- They make good movies,
- if you don’t mind subtitles
- or police detectives who address one another as "Guv."
- Still, there are suspicious blanks
- in their lifelines.
- Unspoken obscenities.
- Presently, one of them paints a picture
- in Paris. Another writes
- a poem in Berlin.
- Meanwhile, history plays in its endless loop.
- Back in Tenochtitlán,
- Hernán Cortés barely fights his way out of the livid city.
- La Noche Triste, he calls it, on account
- of all the gold lost
- when his overburdened soldiers stumble
- into Lake Texcoco
- and drown.
Packingtown Review – Vol.5, Fall 2013
David Starkey served as Santa Barbara’s 2009-2010 Poet Laureate and is the founding Director of the Creative Writing Program at Santa Barbara City College. Among his poetry collections are Fear of Everything, David Starkey’s Greatest Hits, Ways of Being Dead: New and Collected Poems, Starkey’s Book of States, A Few Things You Should Know About the Weasel, and It Must Be Like the World. He is also the author of two textbooks: Poetry Writing: Theme and Variations and Creative Writing: Four Genres in Brief.