The Mens Public Toilet as the Old City



Insufficiently smooth in Arthur Clough's The Latest Decalogue,

Or 'dark satanic mills' for flesh in William Blake;

W.B. Yeats naming the 'house of excrement' for the sake

Of Dante Rossetti who was arrested like a dog:

Is that the fate of women inside a synagogue?

Isaac Nathan wrote some music, one can hear the ache,

In the rhythm of Lord Byron, that Heaven did not break;

Cold mutton, cold turkey, the sailor they will not flog.

Lao-Tzu and Ezra Pound but thought of it in red,

Yet Friedrich Nietzsche tried, no Dionysiac Father let him fall.

Henry James could not pass over. The Golden Bowl for the dead,

And what was wiped so blindly from Belshazzar's hall?

It was something the dear Lord or Joe Orton's sparrow said,

Candelabra mixed with triumphal sack and Pyramus at the wall.