How elegant ennui once was, mon cher,
the suave satiety of Baudelaire—
memorious and metrical—who slowed
the jagged hours with absinthe and pernod.
Lost is the life of languor and longueurs,
inactionable angers, and lechery
so soft, it will not rouse itself to feed.

The flies intone their imbecilic whirr,
Luxe, calme et volupté—love’s rancid feast.
The poet has reclined in ecstasy,
Dreaming of fame, surrounded by the tiers
Of books he has not, will not ever read.
The flesh is sad, and boredom is a beast
that sprawls upon the rug and will not stir.

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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 38 Number 9, on page 29
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