A Late Cary Grant as Sherlock Holmes

Randy Scott will play Doc Watson,
to whom I never actually say, Elementary,
my dear. He’s a much more believable
Englishman. Chaplin dodged that bullet.
I’m T.S. Eliot in reverse: Oh, where
in the crowd of our old Irregulars,
clouds of perfume with all shutters drawn,
do these damned things go missing?

My mother’s been the only real
mystery, living and undead.
No one dares say publicly, but the only
difference between Jim and Monty,
between your dorm room wall
and the longest, loveliest suicide in Hollywood,
is a couple lousy miles an hour. Believe me,
I’ve earned the drugs. For once,

the world should see me in disguise.
Everyone wants to be me, but ratiocination
means I’m in every noggin but my own.
What does the O stand for? Nothing.
That’s exactly what it stands for.
To be cruel, I’ve had to learn to be emotional.
Something of a body outlives the violence.
Remind me to tell you about St. Louis.

A version of this poem originally appeared in Orchids (Salt, 2010).

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