Edith Sitwell and the Carnal World
In later life she made a lot of what
she christened her “Bastille…”
The Sitwells: A Family’s Biography
Think what an Equipage thou hast in air…
“The Rape of the Lock”
Viewer, it’s night. I’m locked into a straightening device.
So remove my flesh like an overly bulky gown
and trace my spine’s delicious curve, my nose’s
(one nostril’s been closed by a metal flap) small bend,
and the place where you can plump up like aheart
behind twinned bars. I can still breathe one-sided poetry so will—
that the night, though long, retains a certain nasty gleam
can be seen in its spirits: fat bluebottle flies which have descended
(it’s summer in the Staffordshire), are drawn to the usual small,
dead thing, and are far more beautiful, in their blue carapaces,
than they deserve. But lost and stupid too.
What can they learn to love that’s here?
You’ve already picked me clean, bright thing—
you know the answer, beat doubled fists, and can’t refuse.