To a certain young man
I can hear the eros of grey rain, Veganin, and telephones
Inside your voice.
His wings, once cut out of Greek frost,
Are now the tint of an old, polished street.
Softly croaking out clichés, in the narrow passage
With its gas-pipes and fuse-boxes, he maes us
Zoophytes - sponging up gravy, nightmares, dullness!
We fill our veins with soapy water, anxious
Tobe good enough...for this latrine whore, Eros.
Always, Arabia deserta; the solitary table
In a restaurant is where we end up,
At the mercy of a salt and pepper pot.
Hosannna! I accept, without quibbling, fly-scrawl,
The carrier-bag of cheap sentences,
On these terms, unless...there is a way to ower them.
I accept. For my Eros is atrocious....
If water-clear moonligt and streets
Sharper than greengages are your drink,
Drunkard, you can be cured. One wound from Eros
And your breast can only drink arrows
With its illiterate and fragrant mud,
(teetoller, dead drunk on your own blood.)
It's ludricrous! It's hopeless.
Shut up your underworlds! Close your hearts!
The century is over. Doors are slamming
In the tragic, casual era. The Eros of dead café tunes
Is in your voice....
He salts and peppers me another pair of arms.
Rosemary Tonks's Other Poems
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