you’re only as sick
as the company you keep
and by dint of hard persuasion,
strong ale and bleeding,
your rigid perseverance has led
to their entire disappearance.
but not with this one, bill.
he’ll arrive with a fish spawning
from his waistcoat, some hot negus
and a penn’orth of gin,
them chip-tooth tales slurring over
his pheasant-dressed tongue
and before you know it he’s carving you
like a pair of scissors.
he’ll caudle your stump of meat
in a basin of beef-tea and stir it
with an antler of celery while you fuss
over some two-penny salad,
and I’ll tell you, I’m no skin
to make skirt with, no treacle tart
hanging from his yolk sac
but them soporific sweetbreads’ll
lull me straight into his Christmas pie.
he’ll slam-dunk your blood sausage,
wrap you in a cabbage leaf and set you
next to the calf’s head by a roaring fire,
then stick you in a bowl of bishop,
flour your belly, scald you,
wring you out, hose you down—
no spectator by and London all around us,
a sprig of poems tossed in the pot
and a doughty fist in your asshole—
nothing savage about it.
chuck-d’s makin’ plumb pudding bill;
it’s what’s for dinner.