Antics in the Whorehouse

George Elliott Clarke. Execution Poems. "Haligonian Market Cry".

The poem is structured as a succession of sexually suggestive cries flogging vegetables and fruit interspersed with snatches of non-English phrases. Abundance is celebrated by the English bits.

I got hallelujah watermellons — virginal pears — virtuous corn!


Come-and-get-it cucumbers — hot-to-trot, lust-fresh cucumbers!
And in between are the "foreign" bits

The motto of Nova Scotia: Munit haec et altera vincit!

The end of Lowry's Under the Volcano with the key question (Do you destroy your children?) missing: Le gusta este jardin?

The best disco French: Voulez-vous coucher avec moi?

Italian whose source forsooth I have been unable to trace: O peccatore, in verità!

And finally some German that alludes to a scene in Joyce's Ulysses where Bloom pays for a chandelier that Stephen smashes in a whorehouse: Die Reue ist doch nur ein leuchter Kauf!

You really should consult the whole thing to get a fulsome taste of this combination of market cries mixed with strange snippets of holy-roller praise interleaved with the "foreign" bits — it makes for a potent combination.

And so for day 1087