Legal Alien ©
of Quentin Crisp, and The Sting song, "An Englishman in New York".
Frank E Gibbard
A certain homo sapiens who
Exercised his inalienable 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;
Any other 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.