jordan iii


Who brags that lies only and wigs
become writing? Is nothing true good-looking?
Is all form a nude descending?
I could not pull off these lines, except they do their work,
not for a true, but painted chair.
Are verbal objects only diagonal rays
in an antique postcard forest? or sudden arbors
shadowing coarse spun lines?
Do I have to say the lulus of desire
When I really mean GIMME THAT?
Must all be veiled while she that reads, divines,
catching the sense at two removes?


Workers are honest people; let them talk.
Riddle who list, for me, and pull for prime:
I envy no girl's thrush or camping trip;
nor let them browbeat me for clunky style,
who plainly say, My Object, My Loss.

-- after George Herbert, Jordan I