Night Music: Riders On The Storm

May 28, 2018

Poem: Lo And Behold

May 28, 2018


I owned

a copy of the prized

Olympia edition;

the green wash covers

emblazoned blatantly

with Nabokov’s name:

it was the first of his books

I had read.


I read

of Dr Humbert’s passion for the inchoate, of

his natural tendency

to banter playfully,

to engage in badinage,

tete-a-tete when lullabies were more

in order.


I was lulled by his Lo-ness;

morals melted away

in the face of such cultivated delights.

My concupiscent

member — so far from

deliquescent — expanded

its horizon in the face of such

conspicuous symbols.


I re-read

the book this year

after a lapse of decades;

and with the misty

dimness of hindsight

I re-visited the garden

of inspired words

that Nabokov had planted

in Humbert’s name.


I swear

the attractive tragedy

was as great today

as it had been yesterday.

But fifty years of

child abuse headlines

has made it unsafe

to appreciate

the Slav bard’s words

in public.


A fifty year old now

needs a plain cover

as much as a

fifteen year old

did then.