THE VOICE OF HIM THAT CRIETH IN THE WILDERNESS
O YE MAD COWS OF HINDSIGHT
THE PERFORMANCE OF THE POUND AGAINST
A BASKET OF OTHER CURRENCIES
TO PUT IT MILDLY
THE PRIME MINISTERIAL APPLE OF DISCORD
A SOUNDBITE BEATING ABOUT THE BUSH
The Eclipse of the Ear
Oh Cindy, let us take a turn and talk
of sway backs and quattrocento coiffures,
of militant putti on chapel walls
pouting like an armageddon checklist
with all eyes on the beauty in the bone.
The figure deflates as the hair descends
don’t you find? I too take to the nibbles
and find opulence going to the head.
Once more, then, unto a vogue of ringlets
as wild silk sets off bare cheek to a tee
and dreams those enigmatic mistresses
of Fontainebleau. Their spangled nudity
sure did strike a chord, led us all into
mannerist interjections like ‘Harps on,
team, let your pearly nipple go je / tu.’
No sir, you will go to the ball and sing
of sins and the protestant work ethic
and then take a spin on the donor base
before coming a cropper on the wind
of short change that wafts all over what I’m
constrained to call our professional body.
And who’d say the same of the absurdly
sultry odalisques of Ingres or Renoir,
though the idiocy of rural life
is certainly as refined in the groves
of academe. But let us not dally
like face tourists doting on a green belt
whose prettiness is pathos. That plot is
plain flim flam. Even if art is always
in advance of nature, so what? you
don’t expect the president to call until
the balloon is up and fouling the sky,
at least, thus spake virgin the underdog.
So take your chances, babe, as the glitter
of squillions shows us up for hot idols
whose nimbus isn’t wholly religious.
Boy of the night, you murmur, do me this
favour and blow the cobweb from my face
so poverty can turn tender and acute.
Now teleology’s gone by the bye
the babe usurps the goddess and we’re
all just miles ahead of Hegel these days,
at least if I’ve understood the driftwood
of scare quotes on today’s job page.
I fancy the long torso of history
will still have its say, and with bravura,
but not while I keep you from stressing out
by doing the stroke moi and I’ll purr pose.
Cut, then, to the cold climate, time’s wingèd
disco bus draws near, we’re frizzed to a crisp.
That said, no passionate cult of beauty
for its own sake has left me simply cold,
just tired of the same old class buffet.
But give me a solid shoulder to warm
and I’ll incline to joy for all I’m worth
though truth to tell, the still meagre stipend
only stretches to cava, which doesn’t
even make it in my pocket lexicon,
and really we do it for the sheer love.