Monday, February 20, 2006


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
as before,
some driveled nonsense,
the languid drop of drizzled cherries
atop a garish plume of ostrich
twinkling shamelessly about that empty brow.
Scandalously simple,
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 -
no more.
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.
The girl,
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
by chance,
drawing in the wicked hour of tonight -
distillations, my breath
momentarily stained,
absorbing kisses
lipsticked upon my brain,
for there was nowhere else
left to pretend.


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