June 08, 2020

He reeks self-pity – the sitting-pretty critic says

Of ye whose use was not so good as should by nature be

Of homely habit, of breast unblessed and lowly statured

Alas you burst out desolately “welaway!”

I conjecture once a woman she could song an ardent key

She would make havoc of a home’s combe, and relentlessly

Her sanctions chanting; keening is the Irish brogue

A plainsong hard and pointed as a hotted jack knife blade

It gave submissive drone, a horrid punishment to thole

Taut threnodies from hell could bring no worser languor

Upon the ear too shrill for calm to listen, peace commingle,

Her espoused interlocutor’s best besetted trauma

But ah, I fondly dream remembrances; anon self-pity

Cuts at the sympathies and smartly ties them off

Stops universally; no crumb for toff nor underrated worker

Who wallows in his griefs

And why, the sumptuous sigh that succours wounded self

Can ooze, arouse, such unctuous rich revulsions?

As irk observers like a noisome nauseous taste

Begetting recoil at the living moment’s centre

Rebarbative reactive reflex yields abasements,

Antipathies antagonistic like a churchyard cough

Cannot be glossed cannot be quietly qualified

But hoasts and boasts its worst besides regardless

And shifts the level depths of our endured aversions

Outpouring forth disgusts whose weight surprises

Surprise that shakes aback like ugly scents from roses

Or burly men who like to wear pink panties in their houses?

But no, I cannot think wherefore we by instinct disparage

That character of selfhood that would charm seductive woes

And cosset dumps as crosses, the obscenely lachrymose

For then do not we all by dole console ourselves?

When inwards rains, it’s hot complaint we seize upon

A perfect claim to manna, and a stick to beat with

A perfect claimed legerdemain to seethe a marathon

Objections uprising engender total civil war

Collide inside; hand slashes gift emotion

Our fragile bubble impolitely broken pops

And out springs rage, whom fully-armed betokens

A forward disrespect conversing with disdain

That such a person, such a tetch, should thus complain

The anger spikes, offends the gut: just criticism?

Indeed! A calculating maulers native brawling

By a so-called friend, an offcut-end, I read it

One on such rocks dashes to wreck much friendship

And whyso is this bedfellow, his acrimony, accepted

Yet bland involved self-pity fit for weevils lowly?

The one compares in tears quite equally to other

Only but hatred differs in their maudlin blubber

Yet we the wise despise and disaffect self-unctions

And prize and lionise hard attitude compunctions

What is it – what the mews that cue our bitter mind-clocks

To give the time of day to one, the other insults?

We toast the heavy sort whose boasts offense and noise make

And thrust headlong the measly one as minnow

The duffer suffers wrong alone; a servile limpet

The other kills his brother too; expedient easy target