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les plombeurs

 

 

Christopher Mulrooney

 

 

 

les plombeurs

 

it is in fact still this story

you have read about in books

but never glimpsed in all its glory

for all your peering probing looks

behind the arras rich and hoary

 

 

codswallop

 

the old surveyor tends his instrument his old wife

examines the testament of the surrounding countryside from her turret

in the main kitchen well let us consider the staff

come hot from the great stove unto smart ladies in the drawing room

who sip their tea and admire the nearly antique loom

 

 

manufactory

 

well if it isn’t and it ain’t

you’re ‘ell if I am t’other

no that’s really ‘tis

and so forth the colloquy

of a certain certainty

 

 

scene

 

crowd scene tenement district

ebb and flow of little stinkers

on callow bits of green

the brownstones lightening in haze

the gross effrontery of the poor

 

 

survey

 

from this office desk overlooking

the city at the height of a second-story man

blinkered somewhat hastily by tinted glass

one would say a rajah in his palace

never commanded such a view

 

 

sour apples

 

there is all the muckheap

drained of its nutriments

a chaff pile an ordure bin

ready for the scattering

to nutrify the fields

 

 

savvy

 

one is to sign on the dotted line

with a leaky-beaked office pen

and affix the date per V.N.

a certain shower a certain rite

and then the waking night

 

 

circumfixion

 

let us have him pinned

as it were to the article in question

and the question so to speak

put to him roundly

this were sufficient to answer

 

 

the forest for the trees

 

it is a convenient sort of shambles

for the music in the leaves you see

and then the characters you meet

fat-haunched squirrel lucid owl

batch of woodpeckers in their nest

 

 

solemn orders

 

how to wangle into the deal

parlay that and fry an egg

on the Manhattan sidewalk come midsummer

they just don’t teach that folks

not even at Columbia and Bard

 

 

wherewithal

 

the solemn book closed no not that

simply the accounts at the end of the day

which cannot be read in more than one way

else there is danger of dehiscence

and still worse of defalcation

 

 

baggage claim

 

everywhither Poe’s demon serves his turn

why he’s never meet to himself even

let alone me if he only would

for an instant even oh if he could

dispute the field and withdraw but no

at every venture he is there and so

 

 

alma mater

 

old frou-frou she is quite a load of baggage

take her temperature feel her pulse ah no

back to your schoolbooks says the cadaver

well study is not fruitless take my old professor

please to rattle on about the P.R.B. oh boy

 

 

bluebonnet

 

down Texas a way and a means

cow ate my bluebonnet Sir

pard why do you mean to say

I don’t see how I come in to it

she just up and well I never

 

 

inspection

 

why Sally they say he is

yes Nancy you can see that he is

oh Tracey it hardly bears thinking on

no Susan it would pass the time no more

like tossing a piñata in a blanket

 

 

the little finger

 

oh it went hard all right the edict was read out

as war and the confines of a terrible threat

he would have us ten times worse than his sire

he was but a little gnat beside him who came forth now

contemptuous beyond all measure of his hearers

 

 

sup

 

such the organization of the display

it was worth the cost per plate

and this was a dispensation unto the people

for though you spake words of introduction

and ate what you were served with some dilection

it went no more beyond the doors than odor