we flew like birds, like infant hawks:
a flock of revels, of mad tricks,
of nightingales and devils in disguise;
with stuck-on lashes and thick black
fringes, we played through the ages,
the voices, hearts and faces;
the Twenties, the Seventies, Blockheads
and Bastards; a Blue Angel lounging
on the piano – the master-mistress
of the fur and feathers.
But we kicked the novelty, we pricked
the irony, the high-pitched
hilarity and the high-brow pomposity.
We hit it like a dark, rugby-playing Nijinsky;
with the sins of the city, the corruption –
sexuality, morality – “O,
this is really quite filthy!”
We stamped with size-eleven feet,
with hairy legs in opaque tights;
we danced to the blare of the beat.
I’m a woman – problem? – I move men,
they weep for me, for lust – the Dark Lady –
for bare shoulders in the Bear Garden,
Fa le la la! It’s the feral peril, the power
it’s the Pistols, the Vespers, the grand
dame of the senile, all-in-one, in one
But. Youth grows pale and spectre-thin.
Statues turn in time to stone. As
the music fades, we wipe our lips,
stained with verse and with a kiss.