MAVIS (assays the new Maginot line,
filliping ribs and semantical foibles,
awling a few more awkward ulcers,
                   verily, into a tacit tawse,
a coldly coddling bodice smothering
shunted reeds and wrens’ beaks bent to
double Das Jahr und Die Mainacht over,
bunged in a body she’s bawdily rented—):

who spat in the humours of Newton’s bow
                                these wistful epistles
                     sarcastic, crass, and nasty,
               blackstrap molasses muddled
               with roof tar stamped
               to a host of exuberant

what had her signet read there rapt about
blistering nipples expressing such grisly mirth—
not, Out damned spot!
                                          nor uxorious psalms
that the sisters of mercy should sternly strum
on which blood-flecked rib of Jesus,
you must choose,
                                 the dog-eared huckster
muddling, three of spades and three of spades,
the three,
                  in the small of his courtesan’s back,
                  in a perilous rage of Monte;
drumming young Mendelssohn-Hensel’s März,
she rasps a flattened Die Junge Nonne like
                   steam escaping the rustling gut
of a billowing whale careened across cross-armed rocks
some proudly simpering star,
contented to cast its light like pestling rebar,
sucked so sickly svelte as a bull’s cock,
                 braids of a prattling cattleman’s bola
                       plumbing a hoarsened throat and

               life isn’t a ruthless round of penny-stenched
               mumblety-peg or drunken stud.
What whimsied woman’s worth was measured in
wit and wrought to the oenomel pitch of an
armpit cocked in the face of adversity;
what some ill-gotten god had drummed
                                                      from a
is the thundering score of apocalypse,

scores of potvaliant valkyries scarring the sun
            to hurl crackling stars up Woden’s bung
            and to whip the Acropolis raw—

and sleave from the feathering bones of Athene
(some charlatan swore were strictly Zeus’ dandruff)
war paint, arsenic, head lice, mince,
embittering larks of some carnival barker
who’s hawking her bearded sister—?!              No,
       and know that no means no, yes—?

The new Maginot line’s tickling ribs of a corset,

shouldering slanted soles, decrying
that sapid space ‘twixt twisted knees
          to read as a redolent hen’s vent;
from which once Jesus drew
that first informative breath, emollient

holes! Napoleon crept and slept in,
plotting his bawdy revenge in St. Helena;

holes! from which the autochthons sprung
like coils perturbed from a mattress bludgeoned;
and even that monstrous Knox emerged
from witches disturbed with what they’d darned in

holes, that loom amidst groping gases
stars these ravenous bastards crowned
with a coxcomb, dubbing some motherly sun
                                         a more fatherly force,
                                 a more penetrative power—
                                                     a louring cock
grim grandmothers thrust from their granddaughter’s comely bowers,
evermore struck from the puckering sky, yes, quivering

holes allowing the moon to steep
in an oddly effeminate eye and—


This fucking hole’s far more than a frothing forge
                     or a fumarole gargling gnashing stone
                     to the stodgily peacocked crown of a golem,
           more than some thatch-raddled mantrap longingly
cocked amongst slavering rocks
and the glistening hen’s teeth
clung at the throat of a cockatrice! Fuck! It’s
           more than a cauldron of intimate envy,
           more than a portal for dissolute souls to sluice through,
           more than a torpid scar some immaculate bishop had
                     shamed, had staked
                     as a stye on a god’s eye
                     grown from the moan of unsettling shadows,
           more than a pliant pit or an oubliette shadowing
                       termagants loosed on the Midlands,
                       more than mere paddocks for brooding bull’s to cud,
                       where the roses rise like dying stars,
                          or a playa of plasticky clay
                          awaiting its paled and greasily leaden glaze. Pygmalion
                        gropes at a bellbuoy, picks
                          among slops and plots of sargasso, and,
                        plumbing for some scarce substance
                          evermore shapeless
                        cries wolf
                        at the bulb of a floundering angler,
                        laureate lure contesting a stolen star,
                        mere lureshe sighs, are the soul                          
                                                             of the female

Off with his head!
   a bevy of glans
       like waddling
       costards clotting a crock of darkly preponderant ape shit!

(She beheads the steadfast pins from a crumbly corn husk, all the
 while Abe Sada peers from the eaves of a nunnery,
                         oenomel gleam of a bleating sunrise
                                snow-scuzzed mountains gored,
                                borne clenched between blackened teeth
                                and a harem of hot springs ironing
                                veiling pines.
                                                          The cones began to writhe.)