Dorothy Parker Will Have Her Revenge on Manhattan

Dorothy Parker Will Have Her Revenge on Manhattan

Sipping gin & mercury at dawn’s bloodthirsty
light, she hears the harlequins
throb inside their wombs,
and she whispers: “God have mercy.”
Below the maddened crowd, she feels the fires teething.
Ten million budding mushroom clouds
wait patiently in mud-rooms
of vacant luxury pied-à-terres, just breathing.
She quips, “How I’d love to flog their sanctimony
like a feral circus pony,
and strangle their oblivion
as if my name were Vivian!”

She’ll curse you with the restless
sleep of refugees; you’ll jitterbug
as clumsily as starving amputees.
And for her final review:

She’ll come back as acid
to melt leisure classes,
leave a river of sludge in the streets
from the Ritz-Carlton to Battery Park.
It’s so soothing to know
you’ll miss the comfort in being poor.

–Joseph P. O’Brien


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