As the plane approached London, it was announced that Alain Baxter, Britain’s first ski medalist, was aboard. The passengers applauded.
At the hotel I saw on TV that Alain Baxter was the purple-haired blond. He grinned in achievement. He was the hero of all Britain. Back in Scotland, there were parades.
Today’s headline in the Guardian: “Taste of success turns sour for our first Olympic ski medalist.” Baxter has tested positive for drugs, for methamphetamines. The color photo of the Olympian with the purple blond hair shows him biting his bronze medal.
As Rochester writes, translating Seneca: “Devouring time swallows us whole.” Rochester writes well on Nothing. “After death nothing is….”
London is more like Ancient Rome, Paris like Ancient Athens. New York is more like London. New York is a university, Paris is a museum, and London’s rainy.
New York had the Twin Towers but London has the Tower.
You ladies of merry England
Who have been to kiss the Duchess's hand,
Pray, did you not lately observe in the show
A noble Italian called Signior Dildo?
This signior was one of the Duchess's train
And helped to conduct her over the main
But now she cries out, 'To the Duke I will go,
I have no more need for Signior Dildo.'
At the Sign of the Cross in St James's Street,
When next you go thither to make yourselves sweet
By buying of powder, gloves, essence, or so,
You may chance to get a sight of Signior Dildo.
You would take him at first for no person of note,
Because he appears in a plain leather coat,
But when you his virtuous abilities know,
You'll fall down and worship Signior Dildo.
My Lady Southesk, heaven prosper her for't,
First clothed him in satin, then brought him to court
But his head in the circle he scarcely durst show,
So modest a youth was Signior Dildo.
The good Lady Suffolk, thinking no harm,
Had got this poor stranger hid under her arm.
Lady Betty by chance came the secret to know
And from her own mother stole Signior Dildo.
The Countess of Falmouth, of whom people tell
Her footmen wear shirts of a guinea an ell,
Might save that expense, if she did but know
How lusty a swinger is Signior Dildo.
By the help of this gallant the Countess of Rafe
Against the fierce Harris preserved herself safe
She stifled him almost beneath her pillow,
So closely she embraced Signior Dildo.
The pattern of virtue, Her Grace of Cleveland,
Has swallowed more pricks than the ocean has sand
But by rubbing and scrubbing so wide does it grow,
It is fit for just nothing but Signior Dildo.
Our dainty fine duchesses have got a trick
To dote on a fool for the sake of his prick,
The fops were undone did their graces but know
The discretion and vigour of Signior Dildo.
The Duchess of Modena, though she looks so high,
With such a gallant is content to lie,
And for fear that the English her secrets should know,
For her gentleman usher took Signior Dildo.
The Countess o'th'Cockpit (who knows not her name?
She's famous in story for a killing dame),
When all her old lovers forsake her, I trow,
She'll then be contented with Signior Dildo.
Red Howard, red Sheldon, and Temple so tall
Complain of his absence so long from Whitehall.
Signior Barnard has promised a journey to go
And bring back his countryman, Signior Dildo.
Doll Howard no longer with His Highness must range,
And therefore is proferred this civil exchange:
Her teeth being rotten, she smells best below,
And needs must be fitted for Signior Dildo.
St Albans with wrinkles and smiles in his face,
Whose kindness to strangers becomes his high place,
In his coach and six horses is gone to Bergo
To take the fresh air with Signior Dildo.
Were this signior but known to the citizen fops,
He'd keep their fine wives from the foremen o'their shops
But the rascals deserve their horns should still grow
For burning the Pope and his nephew, Dildo.
Tom Killigrew's wife, that Holland fine flower,
At the sight of this signior did fart and belch sour,
And her Dutch breeding the further to show,
Says, 'Welcome to England, Mynheer Van Dildo.'
He civilly came to the Cockpit one night,
And proferred his service to fair Madam Knight.
Quoth she, 'I intrigue with Captain Cazzo
Your nose in mine arse, good Signior Dildo.'
This signior is sound, safe, ready, and dumb
As ever was candle, carrot, or thumb
Then away with these nasty devices, and show
How you rate the just merit of Signior Dildo.
Count Cazzo, who carries his nose very high,
In passion he swore his rival should die
Then shut himself up to let the world know
Flesh and blood could not bear it from Signior Dildo.
A rabble of pricks who were welcome before,
Now finding the porter denied them the door,
Maliciously waited his coming below
And inhumanly fell on Signior Dildo.
Nigh wearied out, the poor stranger did fly,
And along the Pall Mall they followed full cry
The women concerne`d from every window
Cried, 'For heaven's sake, save Signior Dildo.'
The good Lady Sandys burst into a laughter
To see how the ballocks came wobbling after,
And had not their weight retarded the foe,
Indeed't had gone hard with Signior Dildo.
Before he played the Lone Ranger, Johnny Depp starred in The Libertine as the author of Signior Dildo:
Shakespeare used a dildo in Winter's Tale eighty years before Signior Dildo. Pfeff Parry drew our cartoon dildo. "This one," she says, "is medical-grade silicone, fully submersible, and a fucking hot pink cartoon character."
The train from London to Canterbury stops in Rochester. Until that moment I presumed Rochester Minnesota was named after Rochester New York and that this upstate Rochester was the “original.” In Canterbury I bought The Works of the Earl of Rochester. Despite three degrees in English and Comparative Literature, I had never read a line of Rochester. Apparently we were being shielded. Johnny Depp is not alone in his admiration.
The Elizabethan Age was the Golden Age of Poetry. Christopher Marlowe of Canterbury was a poet of the Golden Age. Alexander Pope and the poets of the early 18th century are called the Augustans; they are the poets of the Silver Age. Was the Restoration Bronze? Some might say the Restoration was Brass. Would Charles II wear a continental bronze tan, an Italian bronzer? Or was bronzer invented more recently on Miami Beach? But what Age comes in Fourth? And where are we in the literary Olympics? Also-rans and out-of-the-money?