Wednesday, February 07, 2007

329. Clever Women - L. E. Sissman

Clever women live and die on our attention.
They make us feel that we are their invention,
Perhaps we are. They scale us like a tower,
Hand over hand, their eyebeams locked on ours,
Until they overrun our slower brains.
Then what confusion what cerebral pains!
We drown in borrowed wit and rented reading,
Tags, quotes, allusions, maxims, special pleading,
Polemics, set pieces, and syllogisms
Designed to tax us for our sins and schisms
In spurning each one of those nobly sexed
And fashionably gownéd intellects
Who wear the Empress's new clothes. Alas,
We can't accommodate their weight on us,
Who weighed on them until at length we sprang,
Relieved, to life, and joined the shabby gang
Of men, our dumb, companionable brothers
Leaving behind those weeping, waving mothers,
Who now, refleshed as a small-breasted race
Of long-haired daughters, press their aching case
Against our flabby front at every arty
Show, opening, dance, happening, and party.

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