The Civilised Savage

Among the ancient ruins strewn with moss
Within the decimated architecture
Of a forgotten people
Lives the civilised savage

The balls of his bare feet land on the aged marble
Of fallen Corinthian columns
As he leaps, apishly
Traversing the Hellenistic landscape

His white collar lies starched
As it hugs the knot of his crimson necktie
His muscles wrapped
In a three-piece suit of grey barathea

Tribal markings
Of blue, red and white
Decorate his impish visage
Hearkening back to the insignia of his cannibal tribe
That has since dissolved

His hair, pompadoured with mashed yucca and honey
Maintains its structure
Despite his simian movements
Swinging from tree to tree

His polysyllabic speech,
Constantly interrupted by moans and grunts
Even when he unearths his well-worn copy
Of Plato’s The Republic
And reads it aloud
Through my crooked, cracked spectacles

* * *

Marilyn’s Lips

The diptych exalts her noblest feature
Half filmic, shades of the silver screen
Half palpable, with vibrant red and pink

Newsprint lips crookedly smiling, vampish
Inked, off-register, coy and seductive
Flattened, alienating, out of reach

Red and succulent like the tender flesh
Of tree-ripened fruit, shimmering, wet
Glossy like the pages of magazines

Pried up from her white, coquettish face
Eerily floating in the ether
Like a Science Fiction Double Feature

Suspended in time, life-like in their print
Barbiturates melt on the tongue between
Her swollen lips, oozing down her narrow throat
We recite a threnody chant, but still

Her lips remain