Pale From the Imagined Love of Solitary Beds

          For Nadya Ginsburg and Jess Wood—

Fortunate as I am to have
not one, but two, comedians who
humour me, even when far too
often my poetry turns on

tragedy, that Love Conquers All’s
the cliché writing itself in
neon on the wall, confirms fate’s
hell-bent to honour my whim when

they seem perfectly okay with
me being me, how quirkily
I now honour them, unfazed, not
once even slightly appalled by

just how odd and ribald I tend
to get, whether what’s expressed is
politically correct they’re
never concerned, those ladies with

     balls who get me and it, calling

for a tall order if any-
body’s to do them justice, so
here’s to those goddesses hardcore
enamoured, in fact, by my whack

eccentricity (SO-CALled), for
to not admit some flaw would be
preposterous, and how badly
I want nothing more than this, to

impress these women whose beauty’s
left other, lesser poets pale
from the imagined love of their
solitary beds, frightened fast

awake those cramped hands fatigued from
overused wrists excessively
shaken by filthy minds taking
in the sight of their pictures, lit

     and fantasizing as I am,

ever since making their famous
acquaintance, of waking up stiff
sandwiched thick between them in one’s
California king-sized den of

pleasure the other won’t even
think of ever getting off in
together, never, not unless
I attend, since two’s nice, but three’s

definitely better, always
on my mind and forever in
my head, if only a man could
live on compliments alone, his

wit turn hearts of stone to dough, or
go on alone, then I’d be rich,
if not simply comfortable
as it is, but no, I need to

     be heard, not ashamed, and what I’ve

said needs an audience, to be
performed, where my boldness comes from
is that headboard against which we
banged it out again and again,

until it sounded better than
good, until we were floored, slain faint
from formidable foreplay, their
student learning not from whimpers

but these two righteous Masters who,
over my Johnson and my soul,
exert so much power, that what’s
within should be let out, shouted

proud, never whispered or ignored,
that laughter is worth its wait in
gold, so without any further
hesitation, then: thank-you, girls.

Notate Bene:
☞ The title of the poem is derived from “The Statues” by W. B. Yeats, [Stanza 1, Lines 4–5], from Last Poems (1939), in W. B. Yeats: Poems selected by Seamus Heaney, published at London by Faber and Faber in 2004; page 122.