Sunday, May 10, 2009

Robert Lowell

Skank Hour
—for Robert Lowell
and Elizabeth Bishop

Sturtevant hermitess—
Heiress—still living in her
Rainier Beach—mansion by
The lake—her cats gazing out
The windows—at the rundown
Dock—the rotting cabana

Yearning for queenly—
Privacy—a gone Victorian age
That never existed—except in
The mind—of a gone grande dame
Old bitch goddess of tacky Great
Expectations—Miss Havisham

The lakeshore swill—
Yachts, sailboats—Bayliners
Too expensive—for jaunts anymore
Lounging like hog SUV’s in the
Parking lot for sale—next to the
Lakeside Tavern—it’s an ill season

A garish mauve—lipstick sunset
Covers the Red Cliffs—staining
The basketball courts—across the
Street—the Mask of the Red Death
Down from the—winding road
Out of—Dead Horse Canyon

The fairy decorators—
Next door—brighten up their
Interior décor—with fishnets
Antique prissy—paraphernalia
Bought from—the sale of the
Millionaire pimp—next door

One dark—and stormy night
Strolling along—the lakeshore
Where bulkheads—lean like old
Tombstones—into the skull-white
Whitecaps—solemnly undulating
Waves—I got moonstruck silly

It was the—most horrible thing
I came across—an obscenely
Stretched-out—pale pink rubber
A dreary distended—prophylactic
Full of slick sick—sour cream
Somehow the story—of my life

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