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Collected Poems

As Man to Man

page 144

As Man to Man

Since we live, dearest boy, in this terrible age of Anxiety,
what can we do for relief, what drug can we find?
It's a little too late for Karl Marx. A réchauffé piety
might fill the bill. Put Sigmund right out of your mind.
It was such a shock to discover that old Uncle Joe
had hairs on his body and stank so of stale cabbage soup;
we wouldn't go back to that now, dear boy—a bad show;
it would look altogether too much like looping the loop.

Frank Buckman is out, I'm afraid—a nice enough fellow,
but look at that perfectly dreadful cosmopolite circus
he carts around with him. We need something just a bit mellow—
psychological nudists and chatter of morals might irk us.

On the whole I suggest something cosy and utterly private—
just you and I meeting at breakfast and drinking our coffee,
agreed on whatever opinions we jointly arrive at,
and living in harmony, sharing our books and our toffee.