MS (8.4.1929 / Marton, Lancashire)

You Saw It Here First...

Today the front page top spot in my upmarket morning paper
elbows aside war, crime, politics, famine, election bribes
with a manicured hand on an elegant arm, to bring you
the ultimate guide to your seduction scene or marriage-freshener -
the famous ball-player's plump chicken of a girlfriend
presented by Vogue, no less. Here is your Complete Jane Austen
Condensed Edition, the Jilly Cooper Omnibus, the Credo
from the Vatican of fashion. This is the stuff
that dreams are made on.

You'll need a chaise-longue to drape yourself on; and here
it's day-dress - of a sort; expensively revealing enough
to press all the buttons, but informal enough
to be ripped off; thus the zipped skirt, open
just above the panty-line, clearly awaits His pull.

The material of the blouse (I'm told it's silk-crepe) clings
as if it were but barely there; it's gathered slightly
between the breasts, just where (follow the dotted line) He
is invited to rip it. Or there's a loose tie below as well;
some men work upwards; some work down. It's good
to be prepared for that dark stranger with as yet
unknown preferences. A spotted neckerchief enhances
the area between neck and breast, suggesting perhaps
a modest withdrawal from full-on take-me-now; (though
don't knot it; it could ruin the moment) : and
an arm draped languorously over the head
makes your armpits charmpits, as the ads used to say, though
cramp would not be helpful, so the timing's crucial.

Ah yes the timing. The chaise-longue, it would appear,
is conveniently situated in the front hall, with its
old and plastered wall, just showing its age, to offset fleshly beauty;
a reminder of say, Blenheim, where in Her Grace's diary
those immortal words, 'His Grace
favoured me in his boots...' Imagine if you will -
the clip of hasty hooves on gravel; He, hot and hormoned
fresh from battle, or chasing fox, or polo-field,
the smell of horse that stirs Her Grace's loins...
the timing's all; now in a shutter's click...

And if
you haven't thrown the morning paper aside in
the passion of the moment, there's
a chiller on Page Three.

by Michael Shepherd

Comments (3)

I laughed out loud reading this poem. I can see the picture, outfit chase lingue and all. Brilliant. GS
Probably could, Lamont. Today's exercise was to treat the lines as 'page-turners' and let the music find itself. As for shortening it, not my thing. I like the reader to recognise discursive as discursive. Thanks for the comments.
Interesting poem, Mike. You probably could shorten it and tighten it to make more musical (I'm big on music, free verse can be just as musical as rhymed verse) but the overall trope of it is good. Your work is interesting.