A CHRONICLE OF CALAMITIES
Listing sharply, settling ever lower
in shark-filled waters off the coast of Somalia
the Achille Lauro is best remembered
as the ocean liner hijacked in 1985
by Palestinian terrorists who
killed Leon Klinghoffer, 69, and
pushed him overboard in his wheelchair.
The children went first into the life-boats.
As crew members fought the blaze passengers,
many wearing ball gowns and tuxedoes,
gathered on the exposed deck of an oil tanker,
the Hawaiian King, that rescued them. True
to another tradition, the Captain,
Giuseppe Orsi, was the last to leave.
Roy Boltman, a South African magician,
had been aboard another liner and
had directed rescue operations
when she sank in 1991. "He was
one of the heroes of the Oceanos,"
his aunt, Dawn Boltman, said in Cape Town today.
"I think he had better stay off boats now!"
Achille Lauro, an Italian
shipping tycoon who bought the ship from Dutch
owners and named her for himself, became
the Mayor of Naples by offering
voters one shoe before the election
and the other once the votes where in.
The flames licking half way up the vessel.
ALEX CIGALE's poems and translations of Russian poetry have appeared in Art & Understanding, Exquisite Corpse, Green Mountains Review, Long Shot, Manhattan Poetry Review, Poetry New York, and Talisman, among other publications. A sestina is forthcoming in Mcsweeney’s. For five years he edited and published a journal, Synaesthtetic, with the basic premise of found art. He holds an MFA from the University of Michigan.