Return to Natasha Dennerstein

Burnout Pathétique, Symphony Velveteen

Natasha Dennerstein


Empathy so chic, Symphony Pathétique,
sonata dentata in the mouth of the beast
and your number is six-six-six.
Let me give you my digits in the four-one-five:
don’t wear them out or you’ll wear yourself out.
I’m wearing lime green or perhaps more
of a chartreuse in polyester fun-fur
to the fun fair, spun hair, cotton candy.
I run to you and run away from you
because I’m ambivalent, malevolent
or just a vol-au-vent filled with smoked fish
in a white sauce and a screen-saver puree
of sea-foam truffles, muffled.
Throw out your television – Network –
because I just can’t take it any more,
Faye Dunaway. You know what’s hot
about you: your cloven hoof, but
you’ve run away to Fay Wray, King Kong,
the beast, you beast and your number is six-six-six.
Call me, Llámame. Don’t wear it out
or you’ll burn me out, baby, till
a lace pattern is all that remains,
till all exoskeleton and no flesh,
a blowtorch filigree am I.
A blowtorch singer am I
with one sad refrain
about my baby that left me
and made me feel blue,
as blue as fountain pen ink,
as blue as Curaçao, copper
sulphate solution, but there’s none.
I’ll put on my velveteen cloak, dusky rose,
with the anachronistic lining
– prison stripes, navy blue –
so I can fly away from you
and reinstate my Self, brand new,
with self-love, with empathy so chic,
in a symphony that’s not so pathétique.


Back to contents page

Permanent link to this article: