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Poetry Magnum Opus

Legal Alien Tributes (to a song and its subject)

Frank E Gibbard

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Frank E Gibbard

Legal Alien (as in the Sting song tribute to the late much to me missed Quentin Crisp)


A certain homo sapien who

Exercised his inaniable due,

To flaunt his singular strange ways

And his unmale-like purple quiff

No matter if, a passer-by may sniff,

Feel upset or be bothered by himself.

It behoved him to behave

As he chose, if they choose

To see it depraved that was

He supposed their right to in those

Illiberal discriminatory days,

Before reform’s blaze

Of ancient criminal bills

Lit in halls and on hills

Burned down old bondages,

To biblical condemnations

That satisfaction lay only one way;

Another taboo to be booed out of town.

Just as was unjustly Oscar who dared

To speak, nay act the fey,

And to suffer for being gay

Before its time, so too

Did Quentin, spat at, battered

On the streets of London

For his overt henna dye,

And too pert a swab of shadow

On a shameless eye as he came out

To swan about the capital for sport,

As he had thought, his one man fight

Was worth the regular risk of beatings

With “’Yer a queer sod” and likewise

Kinds of yokel vocal greetings.

Poor Quentin had more than his unfair share

Of such unsought unpleasant male meetings.


Quentin Crisp, his fame, his lisp

That scarlet quaintness of his lips

Though slipped away, that gay sashay,

Within his prime quite outrée if not unique

Yet in his quiet quintessential way très queer

A bit passé now but still recalled by Sting whose

Valedictory roundelay made crisp and clear;

He was “one of those” but as he wished to be

Straight as a corkscrew,

A legal alien in New York.


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As a liberal, gay, American anglophile.....I appreciate the poem and video link. To be totally honest, I don't ever recall hearing the song. Thanks for including it.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Frank E Gibbard

Thanks muchly marti your approbation is appreciated - Frank.

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I wasn't familiar with Quentin.

Thanks for the introduction and the ode.

And the vid link too.

I have reason to be drawn to the eccentric.

from the black desert

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