Loy’s “Black Virginity”

Mina Loy

(1882-1966)

“Black Virginity”

Baby Priests
On green sward
Yew-closed
Silk beaver
Rhythm of redemption
Fluttering of Breviaries

Fluted black silk cloaks
Hung square from shoulders
Troncated juvenility
Uniform segration
Union in severity
Modulation
Intimidation
Pride of misapprehended preparation
Ebony statues training for immobility
Anæmic jawed
Wise saw to one another

Prettily the little ones
Gesticulate benignly upon one another in the sun buzz—
Finger and thumb circles postulate pulpits
Profiles forsworn to Donatello
Munching tall talk vestral shop
Evangelical snobs
Uneasy dreaming
In hermetically-sealed dormitories
Not of me or you Sister Saraminta
Of no more or less
Than the fit of Pope’s mitres

It is an old religion that put us in our places
Here am I in lilac print
Preposterously no less than the world flesh and devil
Having no more idea what those are
What I am
Than Baby Priests of what “He” is or they are—
Messianic mites tripping measured latin ring-a-roses
Subjugated adolescence
Retraces loose steps to furling of Breviaries
In broiling shadows
The last with apostolic lurch
Tries for a high hung fruit
And misses
Any way it is inedible
It is always thus
In the Public Garden.

Parallel lines
An old man
Eyeing a white muslin girl’s school
And all this
As pleasant as bewildering
Would not eventually meet
I am for ever bewildered
Old men are often grown greedy—
What nonsense
It is noon
And salvation’s seedlings
Are headed off for the refectory

 

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