Sectioned, I was sent to the Cicada Lunatic Asylum.

Doctor Coppola signed the papers.

His patients, he explained,

were beleaguered by obsessions.

Hence the cicadas which colonised the trees

in the great courtyard.

We were encouraged to adore them.

This was Doctor Coppola’s radical way

of defying insanity, he was known across Europe.

It wasn’t easy at first.

Sbagliando si impara.

Practice makes perfect.

Imagine locked wards of relatively decent people

flapping their tongues.

Even the cicadas thought we were cicadas.


Doctor Coppola conducted his monomaniacal troupe

from the gazebo.

People came from Spoleto: wooden benches,

jugs of wine, hand-rolled cigarettes.

Bravissimo! Bravissimo!