That face that sets light on my wildest yearnings,
And turns my palest heavens
Into raging inferno’s of confusion
Will I ever be able to drown that face
With unnumbered kisses?
And weep out the truth
Into your dresses
That only poetry can surmise?
I am your thin Falstaff –
And you, my Prince Hal;
I will engross and entertain you for a time –
But eventually, womanhood will call;
You will be thronged in suitors
Rising on every side like weeds
Whilst I meekly cry:
“Abandon not poor Reuben!
Maniacal Reuben! Dangerous Reuben!
Changeable Reuben – Unexplainable Reuben!
Reuben of infinite goodwill!
Abandon truth – abandon folly
Abandon everything in the raging dominion
Of reality’s taintless estate –
But abandon not poor, Reuben Falstaff!”
But it will just be a painful soliloquy.
I think of watching your grow up,
And I feel a father’s pain
At watching a perfect flower
Bloom so far away from myself
I know I seem like
A fabulist clown
But do you not know
That those that laugh the most
Are those that suffer the most?
For every jape and joke
I am taxed in a tithe of tears
And after the farting of a whoopee cushion
A tragedy must unfold
So think not unkindly on poor Reuben Falstaff –
What drove Jack to drink?
Was it foreknowledge of that unfriendly divorce
That was certain to undo him?
What drove Coleridge to opium?
Syd Barrett to LSD?
A thousand monks to self-flagellation?
And the serried dead
To rise from their graves
In search of greyer mausoleums?
I do not give answers anymore –
Only kisses and questions
But if you will tolerate
This emaciated madcap beside you
Perhaps your encroaching Queendom
Will not have to see me die
Oh, say not goodbye!
Every goodbye that falls from your lips
Is like a dagger to my senses
Creating scars that can only be soothed
By your belated return
So think not unkindly
On poor Reuben Falstaff
For whilst he might love
In the most deranged of ways
Still – he loves,
And in that mighty chest of pain
You can still find the daggers
Of your every,