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


Helen Parsons Sestina

hello, this is paris
i used to teach in cambridge, i’m from whitehall
everything we do is pretty much archaic
the teenage world is very egocentric
helen melville lived in lansingburgh
this is a 1920s house

there’s a library in this house
helen of ancient troy’s lover was paris
the history channel did a documentary on lansingburgh
it was not white hell but whitehall
to feel the you or the earth is the world’s center is egocentric
to feel this is true is incorrect & archaic

swimming in an unpolluted lake might be archaic
especially if the lake is near your house
a narcissist like a teenager egocentric
once i heard a woman say “mon dieu” at the musée d’orsay in paris
do women make love in whitehall?
they must make love in lansingburgh

troy’s most bourgeois area is lansingburgh
to have children is both archaic & not archaic
once i met a man off the grid in whitehall
if the sun didn’t shine, he couldn’t watch tv in his house
maybe i should’ve called my son in NYC the way paris was paris
to think NY’s the center of the world is egocentric

to think your son’s cute & looks like you’s egocentric
the safest part of troy could be lansingburgh
you never think of dangerous places in paris
but i’m sure there are some though the ideas are archaic
as having a gallery in your house
in ancient troy not up-to-date whitehall
let’s hightail it to whitehall
in the 21st century full of egocentric
copernicans, build a sun-filled house
& pretend we’re safe in lansingburgh
where even video games have become archaic
& we’ll make better love than paris in paris

i wonder if there’s a paris in whitehall
is it archaic to be egocentric
like a balloon released in lansingburgh, big as a house