Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Memo on the misanthrope

I'd never actu-
ally heard this
guy before, but
his anguished
swoon on C-SPAN
came as plan-
gently famil-
iar pathology,
twisted parox-
ysms of panic.

We have our own
fox in the at-
tic, and nobody 
ever said any-
thing. How come?

       Tell him, if he
       isn't careful,
       I'll let him in-
       hale it.

       So Lothar .. betook himself to his gymnasium,
       and at the first whiff of all the delicious
       manliness within its echoing portals he snort-
       ed like a horse. The abiding smell of men's
       gymnasiums is a cold composite one, compound-
       ed of the sweet strawberry-smell of fresh male
       sweat, the reek of thumped leather and the
       dust trampled into the grass of the floor and
       confirmed there by the soapy mops of cleaners,
       but to eighteen-year-old Lothar this tang
       meant everything that the wind on the heath
       meant to Petulengro and he snorted it now like
       a horse let out to spring grass.

Richard Hughes
The Fox in the Attic
Chatto & Windus, 1961©
The New York Review
  of Books, 2000©

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