13 Piccadilly Terrace


Never interrogate a miracle
in a land where gods cross paths. Understand
in the end a pox of lips mythical
and terrible white-knuckles its third-hand
into a sizzling kiss twice abysmal
as one genius ill-paired with other than
          what mister or mistress whose truth
          his misery would soothe ruins.


A caterwaul of tales apocryphal
and probably false fills with frenzied and
furious froth these halls his echo stalks.
Restless even still after all legend
ceased here to persist its firebrand’s charcoal
residue of his residual pound.
          A howl heard since against bad press
          his fists fell, inked avalanches.


Impervious, in his purview, to all
attacks of every critic, we stand
now in the oblivion of total
eclipse which was lately his bedroom. Bound
only by such secrecy as compels
us pervert-poets partial to demands
          whose indecent errands we have
          our idiosyncracies had.


Ruinous the rudeness of those who call
here, this town-house palace where endless ran
glamorous excess until rumours milled
from that sorrowful madness kept hidden.
His evil angel evangelist skill
a talent for sorrowing even when
          penning what sent laughing those his
          confessions tempted relentless.


Transgressive, this baron whose two pistols
their blaring barrels too many dew-dawned
duels knew. Immortal, this Byron, called
icon by apostles across the pond
and centuries beyond London’s revels
from whence, ever since his troubles
          began, resounds a rippling ebb
          into which web flows legend’s debt.