Online here. Fewer italics in the print version, for some reason. I like the online typesetting better; Jerome's voice is more clearly demarcated from the narrator's.
Griffiths has three poems about an intriguing character called Jerome. (Since the poems are ordered alphabetically by title, these three poems are conveniently grouped together; their titles all start with the words "Jerome and a theory of...") Jerome is apparently an archeologist, fond of good food and morbid speculation. In each of the poems, Jerome and the narrator eat a different tasty thing and speculate about a different morbid topic together. All three Jerome poems are sequences of free verse quatrains.
In "Jerome and a theory of Nails", the morbid topic is crucifixion. How might one crucify Jesus most efficiently, in terms of iron and wood? It would be best to use just one nail for both hands, and one for both feet. The tasty things are radicchio heart, cloven tomatoes (nice devilish word, that "cloven"), sea salt, and Iberico ham. The conversation does not seem to spoil Jerome's appetite, or the author's.
I'm intrigued by the juxtaposition of food and pain in these three Jerome poems--something about the combination makes it difficult to look away. Jerome himself comes across as oddly sexy. When it comes to safety and sanity, I have lower standards for fictional characters than for real-life people. (Can you imagine Mr. Rochester in person? Yikes!) So it's nice to be able to imagine Jerome as a character without any practical concerns getting in the way.