Saturday, January 08, 2005

Albert And Dottie — Part Two

Love Must Be Magic

"Ponder then the image of a woman in her makeup, the better to put her mark upon someone, to leave a mark of praise or measured stain behind."

Albert had been instructing Dottie in something-or-other like this for the past half-hour, intoning with a stiff inebriated control of his speech. He seemed to finally be getting to the point. She gave him another whiskey and ice.

"This beauty, drawn with such meticulous care, such an investment of time—it's startling how little inhibition they have about smearing it off roughly on some demented, scruffy, sloppy-looking male who would frighten your grandmother to death if he bumped against her in a crowded bus."

"You know that includes you?" Dottie said, pretending to be annoyed. He ignored her, keeping focused on his speech, that seemed to been rehearsed. He could brook no interference or he'd lose his place!

"Gangsters, preachers, grade-A morons, fools and twits, flat-earth republicans, give-it-away democrats, ugly men, droolers, wankers, and fops—some lovely woman turns each of them into lovers, regardless of what sense it makes to anyone else. Love must be magic—it just couldn't be that egalitarian!"

"It could be!" Dottie giggled.

"Oh, no, that would be too awful!" Albert shuddered.

"Things are pretty awful," she told him.

"Yeah," he said, staring into his glass, "but that's too awful!"

"Nothing is as irritating as the fellow who chats pleasantly while he's overcharging you." — Hubbard, Kin

Dark Beauty

All men strive for beauty through definition
As women strive for definition through their beauty;
In women’s forms and faces
Men see it and applaud it,

How lips that are not quite right
Must be reshaped and eyebrows
Vague or thickly pagan,
Must be smoothed and plucked,
Arrayed another way.

For whom do they perform
This ritual of realization,
Groping through the paint and powder
To recall a dream of youth that's lost?
Who has this turgid power?
And what, what the cost?

Come, my lovely,
And give definition to your grace;
Dispel the years and the toil and tears
And show me some new face.
Darling, dance your heart for me
In elegant curls and lace,
While I am drawn in gloom and storm,
The master of a sterner race.

Come play for me
And make the music sleek;
My tarnished voice must yet
Through mere human methods speak,
But your voice is clear and fair,
Rising to a pitch I cannot dare.

And God your fit and youngish skin!
Alive and soft and curved!
But I must figure the angles,
Plot the sins, find enemies to conquer
Even if among your auburn hairs.

You see, my heart is bare.
Where beauty must be sought so,
Threadbare kings will ever entice some
Naked innocent to dress and paint and preen,
Implore infected girls to mirror
What queens should never deem:

To forge a definition of,
To freeze in time a picture of,
To faint and feint an adoration of
Dear beauty, dire beauty, dark beauty,
For which I strive,
From which I fall.


4th draft: 10/22/02
©1984 Ronald C. Southern

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