Friday, May 23, 2014



The taxicabs with the medallions
that resemble the medieval scimitar
have no meters or two-way radios.
Their stern and deliberate drivers
will take you to any location
within New York City’s five boroughs,
as far into Jersey as Newark,
in New England, as far as New Haven,
and well into Westchester County
for ten dollars and ninety five cents.

This bargain is fixed as a homage
To A D. 1095:
When The Knights of the Studded Scimitar,
from whom these chauffeurs are descended,
left the humid suburbs of Castoria
to join the Clandestine Crusade.
The Knights were intent upon driving
the Saracens out of Assyria,
the Visigoths out of Carpathia
the Cantalopes from Areola
and the Orioles from Baltimoria

But they sailed into southernmost Europe,
and they lingered in lower Sardinia.
They ate tons of polenta and mussels,
which they sautéed in saffron and cinnamon
and washed down with port and zambuca –
until they got terrible dysentery.
(and this was especially unfortunate,
since their trousers were leather and chainmail.)

Exhausted, and quite dehydrated,
The Knights of the Studded Scimitar
limped into the port of Brundisium,
which was under the fey jurisdiction
of a genial rogue theologian
named Simon the Hairy Apostate.
Simon had seven fine wives,
and each wife gave him one dozen daughters

Simon supported his family
with a fleet of brocaded gondolas
that he leased on a bi-weekly basis
to the Knights of the Gnarly Aorta.
This was a fateful transaction:
The Apostate was using the gondolas
as the bait in his quest to find husbands
for each of seven dozen maidens

But the Knights of the Gnarly Aorta
were a band of discreet homosexuals
who would never be looking to marry,
but were always most willing to ferry
all the wealthy young men of Brundisium
from the docks to the seedy marinas -
as they sang their provocative arias,
and humbly declined to take tips.


Simon the Hairy Apostate had eighty four daughters:
Some of them were completely without warts,
and all of them knew how to stretch the stew.

The prettiest one was Clarissa Sensa Verruca

(Clarissa was also the oldest, But only by three and a half days.)

Clarissa’s sisters, in age order, were:

* Hyacinth the Oblivious ,
* Ermentrude the Introspective,
* Twelve-fingered Cunegunde ,
* Black-eyed Susan, (She was named after the boxer, not the flower.)
* Skippy Marie,
* Diaphynna the Slight,
* Corduroy the Prescient, (named after the song, not the road or the trousers.)
* Joan
* Pandora the Implorer
* Leda the Landlubber,
* Melissa Due Verrucas
* Hyppolyta the Inconsiderate,
* Phoebe With All Those Freckles,
* Weepy Cocoa (also spelt Koko.)
* Simonia Blanche,
* Constance Ad Hoc,
* Patina Offoria
* Serena Euphoria
* Cacapha Euphonia
* Foxy Brown (Names after the color, not the crime-fighter)
* Teresitannofathousanddays, (named after Simon’s sister, not the town in Wales )
* Toeless Deirdre
* Samantha Focaccia
* Diptheria (named after the dance, not the disease.)
* Joan II
* Co-mingla the Mixer
* Cementia the Stable
* Hyjinx (also pronounced Horseplay)
* Carolingia
* Christmas Carolingia
* Pickles Flambeau (What?)
* Suspicia the Cautious
* Clammy Palmyra
* Cyd Charisse 1922-2008
* Hortensia the Alert
* Janice Scott Joplin Tissue
* Bonnanafannafofearly
* Crustaecia Au Jus
* Paradiddle (A rhythm baby)
* Resplenda Sweet
* Joan III
* Fermata
* Ella Fitzmorristown
* Charo Marie
* Headleigh Talullah
* Cornucopia
* Iris Petalstem (pronounced, “Rose”)
* Zippy the Cyclops
* Joan III part two (“Joan Gets Wise”)
* Major Barbara
* Minor Barbara
* Hanna Barbera
* Halla Muffla
* Kiki Deepdish
* Somnambula Defenestra
* Sloane
* Deidre
* Rose E. DeRivative
* Elma Floodgate
* Termagant
* Hillarious Rhonda DeWitt (who blew a free lunch.)
* Morticia Mortui (the last woman to let you down.)
* Clydesdale the Ungainly
* Sloane II
* Sabrina Una Verruca
* Simulacretia Marie (Dad’s favorite)
* Carbonata Saspirilla (Dad’s root beer)
* Margarita Villa Maria (She did well in school.)
* Euphegenia Manbait (She did well after school.)
* Scabby Phyllis (she did well to avoid school.)
* Medea Jean
* Edna Saint Louis Missouri (pronounced “Sappho”)
* Sloane Verrucoso
* Nimble Luanne
* Kahlua Encarta (the drunken Know-it-all)
* Inflatable Adria
* Neolithia Domestica (the Farmer’s Daughter)
* Cammuta Cafeteria
* Dymphna Quattro Verrucas
* Apollonia Kaboom
* Deleteria Anne
* Tinny Alicia
* Sioux C. Queue

Simon had no sons.

Simon also had no walking-around money.

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