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The Table for Two

of years ago when
I supped with Quentin
Crisp. The real-life
Wayland Flowers'
Madam, hag half of
our lesbian hostesses
pronounced that we
make a seasonable pair.
He was old, I was fair
amazed to meet
him whom ages
hence shall define
as outre, sublimed.
She put me across
Quentin's "How do you do?"
I thought to reply.
I checked, "I'd rather ask
you. How did you do it?"
Mr. Crisp, soft last rain
"I did what I do to live."

In revision I've cut off the last third;
this is now gone:

"Do you have anyone
keeping you safe in New York?"

"Indeed, yes, lovely friends
Hell's Angels. They gave me
a TV. I've never had television.
They bring me groceries. So
kind of them to look after me."

"Why do they do that?"

"Will I ever understand why?"

11 Sep 07

(define the words in this poem)
(181 more poems by this author)

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Yea indeed. A keeper.
 — unknown

OK then I'll work on it.

What it was 24 hours ago, 11 Sept 07:

Some years ago at a table for two
I had dinner with Quentin Crisp.
The hostesses, two lesbian hags
thought we'd make a cute couple.

Mr. Crisp was aged then. I was fairly
amazed to meet the man who long
years since had defined the word

Hard and wizened, the old woman,
the butch-half of our hosts, sat me
down with Quentin, who said
"How do you do."  I thought to
say my name, but checked;  I said,
"I'd rather ask you.  How did
you do what you did?"  Mr. Crisp,
pale and sweet and soft as rain,
"I did what I do, to live."

And now, sir, do you have someone
to look after you needs in New York?
"Indeed, oh yes! Lovely friends,
the bikers, the Hell's Angels. They
gave me a telly.  I never had one.
They bring me my groceries. Every
one, so kind to me. I don't really
understand why."
 — netskyIam

I feel that something sweet from the first version got lost in the trimming. Maybe because Quentin Crisp was a talker, for me, a little bit prosy is nice. It communicated relaxed, aged, plus allowed for the kind of details which create a view from inside, not just looking at a picture. Mellowing wine, still itself and a young mind. I also liked both lesbians and already miss the other.

from the same unknown
 — unknown

OK, I'll think on your kind advice.  I rather agree with you,
but I've been pulled one way then the other.

The rough, first drafts and the succeeding drafts are found here
http://free wrights.freeforums.org/viewtopic.php?t=49
links don't work at present, so I've put a space in this link at "freewrights" to allow it to be copied, pasted.
 — netskyIam