Electric Ballet

When Nathalie, the dancer, asked me out
I envisioned somewhere sweating in a gym.
She said that, no (she spiced ‘no’ with a pout)
she meant this time a fête she’s giving Clem.
She looked so pert, so powerful yet slim,
I knew this was no offer to disdain.
Such fey good looks, so go-ahead and trim:
perhaps it’s posh to be balletomane.

Arriving at her house in stylish Zuid
I plunge into its hall. The lights are dim
and ballerinas stand en pointe to scout
for Clem’s arrival. Suddenly heads swim,
as he comes through the door. The brothers Grimm
would suffer glottal stops, he’s so urbane.
Accepting the hostess’s kiss, Clem’s stance is prim;
perhaps it’s posh to be balletomane.

Their seriatim shuffling mounts to rout
when the would-be divas spot Clem’s turned-out limb.
Host Nathalie espies a chance to flout
the plans she sees them plot to annex him:
To stymie staging for her diadem
she choreographs him by me. This constrains
the ponytails from roping Clem with vim.
Perhaps it’s posh to be balletomane.

This evening I’m too suave to ask, ‘Who’s Clem?’
(more gauche than ‘Elvis who?’ or ‘What’s cocaine?’)
With feet croisée and arms en haute I skim.
Perhaps it’s posh to be balletomane.


The room is warm and, wishing for a drink,
I ask old Clem, ‘What’s your atomic weight?’
He laughs out loud at this daft thought. I think,
‘At last! Here’s hope for fun at any rate.
If we’re to bate our boredom why not bait
a hook with slice of new clear fizz? Begrime
night’s visage with a fillip. What’s one? Wait:
‘Electrons moving back through troubled time.’

I tell a fable: the atomic rink,
fey place where observations calibrate
the rays and darks, and flavour quarks. This kink
appeals, send Clem’s brows up to browse his pate.
He asks the eager girls to illustrate
by dancing as he bongs upon a chime
and we both chant how positrons relate:
electrons moving back through troubled time.

Lord, how they dance! The blonde stands on the sink
and galaxies attend her whirls, debate
with worlds unborn till divas’ lashes blink
and call them forth to glory. This is a fête
like none canals have seen: we postulate
the theorems, then they dance them. Grace! Sublime
small sparks are born, then gyrate off and mate
electrons moving back through troubled time.

Dear Hostess, note the exhaustion of our state
and bring fresh grape to boost the bold enzyme
that kicks our progress up to Kali rate:
electrons moving back through troubled time.

Zuid (literal translation south) is a fashionable residential area
in Amsterdam.

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