The Key To Seductionby
My shirt is pure as christian shoes: and yet
I am no clairvoyant, for my toe is not a boot
My teeth are semi-precious, a fact that I regret
And through my hunting-jacket, if I fire
A toothy grin, I see my butler hanging by a wire
Attempting to distinguish an ostrich from a coot.
My baggy hat and crimson dancing-pumps
Provide discomfort for the Finns and those from further South.
Among the Basques, whose blouses, full of lumps,
Bedevil the directors of the play.
But the posters now on glorious display
Deny the king of Southern Greece the ownership of mouth.
My collar gives no inkling of my craft
My canine teeth are lacking, though I still possess a mouth
Although you mad not think 50, you nuns that never laughed
Your habits changed for sequined underwear
And your wimples for a capstan on your hair
Where sailors in bell-bottoms blow the Lutine trumpet: SOUTH!
My tie is drawn from ancient eastern myth
To mummify a pencil, to embalm a fountain pen
To draw aside the scribal veil and show the words of pith
To those who can appreciate canals
With punt-poles pierce your gaily boatered pals!
A Bailey-bridge for Polish goatherds then!
A bandage for your eyes
A latitude of lies.
Devon valley partridge in a great green growth
Pear-trees clothe the nudeness of the glebe
Arum lilies wallow like a sleek-sheened sloth
That angers the trombonists of Antibes.
Beri-beri for the children of the same!
Hari-kiri is the Tailor's aim!
Sowing fields of fallow with a large blue seed
A glaucous gamete glowing in the glade
Undernourished warblers in the long, lank reed
That puzzles all the flautists of Belgrade.
Harum-scarum lies the new cummerbund
Karakorum is the place I shunned!
Sewing seems a waste of time - my future fatness past
My clothes are just an attitude of mind
Rivulets of Runnymede cascade through my cravat
And Nelson falls upon the Golden Hind.
Hankie-pankie, matching shirt and tie
Monkey, donkey, which of these am I?
Capulets of Catalan, their furbelows in rags
Copulate in cataleptic states with summer wine
Stipulate or sterilize the foremost vestal hags
Zipping up their zygospores, in mantels that were mine
Stopping for a plate of soup when ebbing ardour sac
And dropping in for sherry at a quarter past nine.
PIGGY-WIGGY! shouts the fetid vest
Jarlsberg! dies the sock
And falls to rest.
Three bigamists in shorts
Five metaphysicians of stunted growth
Eleven second-generation bigamists in pin-stripe suits
Seventeen geraniums, the gods of heaven to invoke
A pocketful of eyes
More overdressed women than I can house
Infinitude of unpretentious choristers in hats
A kettleful of apple-cores, the sort that nobody can singe
A king that drinks no milk
Eight point seven aunties doing stunts
A fraction of a flautist trying nine times seven scales
A bushel of old dirty lingerie reeking of what can be nothing but arrowroot
Bloot no more the surmy thoke that fencils on the breen!
Nubber scowk the attaturk, whose lumley peebles green
By grushing plook and sorely tobe are only lyly seen,
Oh! greckly skirm the mandringotes that purstle and pureen
What does she mean?
If we plant a rhizome, will it grow a tree of light?
If we light a candle, will the sun flare bright?
Are these things connected, as the sleeve is to the arm?
Are we all invited to the picnic at the farm?
Sheep devoured our rations, and my trousers, ill-informed,
Were eaten by a sandwich as the plates were being warmed.
Do these things forewarn us of the terrors of the chase?
Will I need spiked running-shoes to stay the hateful pace?
The race is run, all time is lost, and leaves are scattered far
Down among peculiar folk whose ties are made of tar.
Will singing rain descend to mar the party in the park?
Will I need a raincoat? Are there lifebelts on the ark?
Or will you give me swimming lessons, teach me how to float?
Instruct me in the art of being made to walk the moat?
Ape the boorish tailor crying `Man, I dig your weeds-
Mimic Persian carpet-men who squawk their wretched creeds!
If we plant my slippers will a shoe-tree start to grow?
If we shoot a rabbit, will it stop the falling snow?
Will it melt the ice, or forestall the next monsoon?
Will it help to send unwanted clothing to the moon?
If we sanctify the moon, what dew will shroud our lawn?
What funereal garments are you claiming to have worn?
What ectoplasmic halo descends upon the vale?
What helicopter embryos lie pickled in the pail?
If I breathe out quickly, will it scour the airy plain?
Let top-hatted foetusses (no mumbling!) explain!
For everything's connected: the doormat to the wig
And fell-boots to electricity.
But nothing to the pig!
There's methods in my sanity; but not in my attire
My finger-tips are swathed in swaddling socks
And my elbows painted purple for no reason known to man
Lyre, locks, Milan.
There's time for my tranquility, but not in such tight shoes
My toe-nails grow awry, as if a frog
Were lodged there, and an athlete in my throat
Booze, bog, or boat.
There's truth in tesserectomy; but garters lack that style
And varicose verrucas dog the foot
It's harder, wearing shinpads, to deduce Medusa's wife
Raped, rabid, rife.
Here, at the sea's edge
There is a condiderable drop from the top of the cliff.