There are forgotten reasons why
you didn’t do what you didn’t do,
but now you’ve only what still
never existed – Technicolor scenes
and whiskey ads, gunboats in Esquire,
the Senator before his subcommittee,
the microphone, people clinging
to his every word.
From where you watch he’s far away,
mute lips on a screen as sunlight
climbs the outer wall. Soon there’ll be
nothing left to catch it. It will unravel
in cold dark corners of space.
A member of parliament proposed
that when we’re ready, when we’re ripe,
we might have another do us in.
All we’ll need is a
Serving us will be the
a fully-equipped and professionally-trained
practitioner of the art of the new humane.
We’ll have to be 75, of course,
and there’ll be meetings involved –
bureaucracy will have its day –
but wish we may and dream we might:
the government will give us night!
Judgments crowd the heart
where chastity would dwell in privacy.
She would be magnanimous in isolation,
making no hard choice of the spirit,
but having instead her lake,
her begonia, her tea.
Her footman will dispatch
the stranger at the door,
and shade will beget
no dark fantasy.
If you don’t know,
don’t look him up.
And if you do know,
don’t presume you do,
but swing to see him
that modern desert modern air
for eyes to shine
and drinks to drink
swords and all