There was something in the air,
not there, when I arrived.
Tuttenham Court’s pleasure regaled;
the rigging and rot of gilded canaries,
twittering and chirping about the parlor,
arching a bower in sundry ale,
galloping veil of stiff Cuban curls
the hypocrisies of simpering wit -
laying their claims,
consuming youthful arrogance.
Ms. Clairmont joyously greeted
some driveled nonsense,
the languid drop of drizzled cherries
atop a garish plume of ostrich
twinkling shamelessly about that empty brow.
yet queerly diverting to any man
for whom form was the utmost order
in these shallow hours.
I escaped, not far, yet away,
lush conservatory splendor
my countenance and good fortune -
My humorous grace,
insecurities of age
and haunted -
Spreading the variegated fist of a palm
on parting dead pleasures
for the amorous pair.
The man was fat,
Handle-barred to a wealthy cow in Suffolk
and amiable mistress
planting her assets upon his rounded lap.
Accusatory behind monocle,
and sourly still.
much removed from frolic,
upon recognizing me.
And so I turned
without concerted regret,
a fresh step upon that elegant marble,
to reason tomorrow’s conquests
drawing in the wicked hour of tonight -
distillations, my breath
lipsticked upon my brain,
for there was nowhere else
left to pretend.