Poem: The Whorehouses of Heaven


I have been in bed all day;

I have been in Heaven all day,

Pain has shrunk away, by courting

Pain, swigging my way down Gin Alley,

Against the doggerel, poetasters,

Fiddlers, pamphleteers competing with

One another – outrage – I pass the beer

Barrels; the rats and the vomit; the

Scorbutic sailors pulling down their

Pants to prove that their legs aren’t the

Only wooden parts of their anatomy –

He might have been called ‘Black Heart,’

By The Howling Gazette – but the whole

Genitalia was pretty soon as black with

Rotting; his syphilis blooming

 Beautiful fruit


Gaily, he and I strode along –

We didn’t know which perspective

To use – Third person – first person –

No person – so, for the time being, I

Will remain ‘he and I’ until my grammatical

Fever abates


Through all the friction and brio,

The pavestones cackled majestically –

Like a flock of jackdaws –

A firecracker of applause


They all concurred he was an

Agreeable fellow – though, within

The Scorpionic rabble of his mind, he

Had perfected 365 ways of being eminently

Disagreeable, though he dared only use one

Or two of the mildest forms, on auspicious outings

And  Holidays


“Oh, what am I to do!” Bewailed

An out of work actor, marinating, and

Lightly sautéing his sorrows in a flaming

Pint of gin. “I have no one to perform at.

I have all this crazy, restless energy, I

Just do not know what to do with!”


“I’ll tell ye what ye can do with it!”

Advised a scum, slime-throbbing sailor,

“Stick it up yonder arse, and see if she

Has any use for it!”


The whole tavern guffawed at this, and

The employability of said yonder arse was

Proven to be very much open-ended


But our hero was not amused.

Thumping his liquid bible upon

The desk, he fulminated, mightily,

So that all might hear:





Cat calls were issued, and

Vociferous demands were made

To adduce evidence of the verity

Of his ostensibly meretricious

Astronautical navigations


Deliberately jocose prolixity

Aside, something happened

Which no one expected –

The guest began to absquatulate

From the realms of sanity – nay! –

Not just sanity – but humanity



“I have thrust my face betwixt

The titanic tits of titans!” he yelled.

“Arse, arses, everywhere, and not

A cunt to stink!”


His hair burst into flame –

His face ruptured into that

Of an eagle’s, until he had

Become as a Babylonian apkalle,

A crematorial fire reducing his skin

To a squamous black tar; like a

Toasted marshmallow, all crispy

Black on the outside –

Pink and gooey on the



The whole place burst with

Delight – truly, people did

Not know whether they were

In Heaven or in hell – arses,

Were indeed, everywhere,

Nymphs of isles and sea,

The effluvia of genitalia rising

Like musky incense up to heaven,

To appease Priapus and Kurukulla,

And all other gods of might and



And so our hero was saved –

Though, from what he was saved,

I neither know, nor can tell, only

That, with that maritime smell,

London was gusted up into the rafters

Of illusion’s swellest theatres, and

Opened, once and for all, to Mary

Shelley’s soiled garters


And so:

I have been in bed all day

I have been in Heaven all day



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