Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair

I was sat with my back to the side of a hot pan
Chaffing at the heels, with warm scents in my hair
Half-naked, staring at the customers dining:
Lemon and parsley, tomato and basil,
They go, a pork shoulder, pots
Made of earthenware. Only me.

While the dining carts scurried around me
Carrying pastries and glasses full of tipple
Wines without screw-on caps, beer from taps
Menus with great numbers on them, guildered
Wives and trophy husbands, my brasserie
Hanging from a ladle’s hook, rose-water—
Dead, like a cigarette, like indifferent wine.

I had too much to drink, out of countenance
Mumbling for help, in search of my pride
In search of such things the airs had beckoned
To my attention:
Lemon must go with parsley, scallops and chervil
The ink from a snail, luminescent, my side
Cream goes in the pot with battery acid
A rose thorn, crushed roses, and the must of
A white grape—sweeter than molasses—
My favourite drink.

Til the waiter calls out ‘Jager-Bombs’—I
Awake, awaken, in search of my vanity, In Search
Of Lost Time; Books, half-finished, books in
The kitchen. I read books, in the Kirchner IN crystals, In
I have a necklace, I have several necklaces, AND
rings and a mirror. I have, I pay rent, and I have ajob.

I am—OH do SO look at ME.

What happens in vagus; or, how I spent my third lockdown

I contracted a PCR test this week
And it stayed with me for two years
In my nasal cavity, or any of the other
Thick, aching cavities that line my
Big, round head.

I felt: that was all.
A stinging, head-ringing, muscular
Worry. My taste buds were wrecked for the next few days.
And, in a hurry, to recover what little
Of my supposed virility was left gaped by the bed
I wrecked my tail-bone instead.

Corona must have destroyed our collective pelvic floor.

Wrote a few poems, they’re all gone, of course
(Like most poets, my teenage waste-basket was filled with foul paper discharge)
Vanished into thin, dry air, yet another frustrated emission.

With my most beloved
Sensual pleasure awry. Tea tasted like lemon juice
And the sweet smell of honey,
Like the comforting buzz of a bee by your ear
Followed my sickly sinus infection.

It’s a chore to consider your body
(My dear!) Sweet pictures, pretty
And shapely. You’re a gallivanting Adonis
Caught up in delirium: signs, dreams, and pictures
Bloom in your psyche—they’re called Saussurea—
With each sense in your sleep playing round
Like a satyr, you—probing each nook. This little prick
Will return in your backside. And that chopped liver you ate
Will return as a smile; a groping smile
Too embarrassed to look in your eyes. This plain, unseasoned chicken
Will return as a thermobaric bomb! And a sweet, summer partridge
Will return as the blues.

I breathe fire!
Feel these tissues filled with phlegm
Thick and runny, you see
Not quite like the mucus I’m used to
And just the day after, orange, like
An orange, rolling
Round a wet sponge
Down a school-bus
Round a roundabout
Full of inflection.

It was the same fucking bed
Less regimented
Lying down with cold pitta-gyros
On a stray, sedate lilo.

And all that lying down made my arse hurt.