Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Once more with beehives

I reprint “Frances Among the Beehives: A Birthday Ode, 1980” to mark the birthday of my dearest friend. She lived, in those days, in Utah, a “black hat” among the “saints”:

Frances Fisher, drinking gin
and tonic as the Saints march in,
Waverly Fisher, whom Random knew when
Has turned twenty-nine. Rand starts over again,
Smites his forehead, pours a cup
Of Folgers hi-test, sobers up
Within another cup or two, or
(Muse invoked) another few,
Conveys from land of sin and surf
His greetings to Moroni’s turf,
Hopes Provo is pleasant, knows Mormons are not
All that bad save en masse
(but it’s en masse you’ve got—
Utah being the homeland of Wog and of Polly,
Salt Lake, Brigham Young and the Osmonds, by golly!).
This doggerel is pretty poor
Imitation Clement Moore
Which is, however, no excuse
Not to play it fast and loose
On Frances Fisher’s natal day.
Sin! Debauch! And by the way
Do not let Sainthood take its toll
On Franny’s hedonistic soul.
In Rome we do as Romans do
But are, in Zion, careful to
Stay decadent. Remain alert!
Party, drink, and don’t convert.
Cheek by jowl with Latter-Dates
Black hats discreetly congregate,
and slipping from the pious’ sight
Go Gentile into that good night.

1 comment:

Annie Sisk said...

Clearly some of your best work.