Sunday, July 3, 2011

How to be You in Public

“Style, in the broadest sense of all,”
said Quentin Crisp, “is consciousness.”
It isn’t always bliss to find this out.

It takes examining your loves and hates
which rarely will not quantify some
qualities you may not want to flout.

And yet if you are to be true to you,
they’re crucial to pursue. What to do?
Grope the potent metaphor. Condense

your gory impermissibilities into some
indecipherable tantalizing trope. Soon
you’ll give your psyche hope – and do this

all the time. You’ll hide it in a rhyme.
You’ll nestle in a covert fame what
you once wrestled secretly in shame –

through the mortar and the pestle
of imagination’s alchemizing rapt intent
to get away with crime. Your purple hair

and calligraphically attenuated aubergine
moustache will artfully imply your hidden
cache of secret ardor for the private

batting of the lash of some bright eye
belonging to a species you dare not
describe. You’ll acquire mystery –

and a transgressively alluring sheen.
And who knows – maybe end up
on the cover of a fashion magazine.


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