Three Poems

Bernadette Mayer

Helen Hypatia Bailey Bayly

besides not being from ancient troy
helen bailey hails from australia
her middle name is hypatia, her mother
thought if her first name was helen
her 2nd had to be the greek mathematician
stoned by st. cyril whom she pissed off
so helen hypatia bailey met a nice man
named brian bayly & they became the brains
of troy, he taught geology at RPI
& she astronomy lecturing probably on halley’s
comet till he & she, now a helen of troy
retired to a farm near this here troy
that i, the writer, am near to too
in australia, women were relegated to
kinder, küche & kirche (children, kitchen
& church) but when I met helen bailey bayly
she was carrying a sign that said: troy
back on track, we met in front of the burden
ironworks, once powered by the world’s biggest
waterwheel where workers made horseshoes
& bells & stoves & fences around aeries
d’you think one of the baileys played the ukulele?
now though RPI’s president receives
the highest salary in the country, troy’s
proctor’s, owned by RPI, is to be razed
depriving trojans of their heritage again
& poor troy becomes poorer perhaps the poorest?
not something to drink a troy cocktail* to!

*campari, lime, soda, also called a joe brainard

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