My Cart 


On Avoiding Stendhal Syndrome
Ellaraine Lockie


—A psychosomatic illness causing fainting, heart palpitations, confusion, hallucinations, amnesia or madness from sensory overload, 
especially in Florence museums, where about twelve cases occur every year

 It's easy to omit museums
When doppios and Perugino chocolates
slide down like liquid silk
And Italian words in coffee shops caress sound waves
into a massage that starts at the tip of your toes
Where born-again feet have been converted to baby soft 
by the finest leather sandals from a street stall 

The clop-clop of hooves hitting 
cobbled streets quickens the heartbeat
Each church bell chime climbs the ladder of your spine
And the strings on a street mandolin
tie you up in ancient bondage with Botticelli
Dante and Da Vinci

It's Michelangelo though 
responsible for your labored breathing
Because you've just run your hand up David's
marbled leg muscle in the piazza around the corner
And you can still feel the flush spreading 
from palm to pelvis

But you can't linger in the longing
because another kind of hunger leads you
by the nose to a next-door trattoria
To crostini, filet mignon with porcini and truffle sauce
parmigiano risotto, tiramisu and two glasses of Brunello
Over which you start talking to Puccini, Verdi and Rossini

Soon you are seeing with x-ray transparency
the tight Tuscan sunned bodies brushed with olive oil
bursting their Prada, Armani, Gucci and Fendi restraints
And with weakened knees and winged head
you try to rise to return to your hotel 
Or was it a hostel or a houseboat or a B & B 
Maybe that remodeled convent you considered . . .

From Stroking David's Leg (Foothills Publishing, 2009).
Used here with the author's permission.


Photo by Alexis Rhone Fancher

Ellaraine Lockie grew up in a Montana farm town and writes at her local Starbucks every morning because it feels like one of the friendly coffee shops where she grew up, a place where everyone knew everyone else who came for coffee and camaraderie. Along with publications in the standard journals, Ellaraine's poems have appeared on broadsides, buses, rented cars, bicycles, cabins, greeting cards, key chains, bookmarks, mugs, coffee sack labels, church bulletins, radio shows and cable TV.
Ellaraine serves as Poetry Editor for the lifestyles magazine, LILIPOH.



Post New Comment:
The more I read it the better it gets.
Posted 11/15/2014 01:02 AM
I've been to Tuscany, and you brought me back!
Posted 11/06/2014 11:16 AM
Ha, the power of suggestion
Posted 11/05/2014 09:02 AM
sweet and tasty poem, Ellaraine!
Posted 11/05/2014 07:13 AM

Contents of this web site and all original text and images therein are copyright © by Your Daily Poem. All rights reserved.
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Purchasing books through any poet's Amazon links helps to support Your Daily Poem.
The material on this site may not be copied, reproduced, downloaded, distributed, transmitted, stored, altered, adapted,
or otherwise used in any way without the express written permission of the owner.