Tuesday, March 21st, 2023

At The Bar

At The Bar

by Paul Cordell

September 1966 • Vol. 1 No. 12

Originally published in the September 1966 issue of Tangents
p. 7

He knows he’s handsome and we agree

If his hair were any longer he would be Hebraic

And resistless as Charlton Heston

Playing a loin cloth genius, the hairy pelt of his chest

Where a hand sometimes alights and is lost

And whiskered legs that fans briskly touch

Exciting nerves that we rarely mention.


He knows he should be speechless,

Listening while we sing his praises,

Trying to find a way of admiring the backs of his knees

Or the dimple revealed when he lifts his lips

Not to smile or laugh, but to cast a light

On the room’s dusky corners, or just to look away

From the boy who’s indifferent to his blazing features.


He knows he is our legend

But he can’t believe the long lines of fate unfolding,

Already unfolding his mirrored lovers,

And he’s restless as though around his deepset navel

A fire or glow had started

Which his two hands refuse to put out,

And which cannot be quenched while his heart is still beating.

—Paul Cordell

©1966, 2018 by The Tangent Group. All rights reserved.

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