Was there a special Mess you had in mind, sir?
If you could be a little more specific . . .
As you can see we’ve every size and kind, sir,
From In Your Face to Mildly Soporific.
Adultery is very popular—
It’s our perennial favorite, you could say:
The Shocking Pink? Most customers prefer
Discreeter models, like this Sordid Grey.
Self-Poisonings are on sale, and very buyable:
We stock Old Fogey’s Alcoholic Haze,
The Sixties’ Acid Test, and this reliable
La Mode Cocaine, it’s ultrachic these days.
Loony obsessions can be quite attractive—
Religious Manias are on that wall,
They come in Solitary or Interactive;
Some say they make the biggest Mess of all.
There’s basic Selfishness, a classic line,
And always guaranteed to stay in style;
I know I couldn’t function without mine—
It makes a Mess that’s wonderfully worthwhile.
Still not convinced? A canny customer!
I’ve one more product that might interest you:
This cut-price Boredom is a beauty, sir—
And it’ll do what all the others do.
from A Trick of Sunlight (Anvil, 2007), © Dick Davis 2007, used by permission of the author and the publisher.