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The New Versailles.

By ANTHONY HOWELL.

OUT OF TOWN, removed from intercourse;
Reachable only by agents charged with rejection
Of the over-thirties, these are the powers
Without addresses. Indicating us, they purringly
Refer to “the ghettos”. It is not intended or
Expected that we infiltrate their palisaded
And palatial zone we thus can only suppose
Rife with the goings-on described
In catalogues compiled by one deranged Marquis.

All they are looking for is chic literature
Suited to an Ormolu bookshelf in the hameau de la Reine:
A dalliance in delightful Kentish Town; the owner
In her Busta shorts, the builder in from Dalston.
Novels flounced with French folds, evoking a world
Without stays or stain; lyrical scenarios
Involving pullover dresses, handsome young brokers
And two-bedroom apartments in Olympian blocks
Sincerely unaffordable. In this quaintly fashionable mythology

Venus and Adonis look just like Meghan and Harry.
Venus drives her own electric Lamborghini.
Dear Adonis shaves his ginger pubes and cultivates a beard.
He’s totally into his rugby, so why should he mind
Sharing her with her lesbian paramour? The daughter
Of a billionaire launching her career as a pop-star,
Although there’s nothing working-class or popular
About her – unless you count her father’s working-girl
Lured away from Russia and groomed for him in Israel.


Anthony HowellAnthony Howell, a former dancer with the Royal Ballet, was founder of The Theatre of Mistakes and performed solo at the Hayward Gallery and at the Sydney Biennale. His articles on visual art, dance, performance, and poetry have appeared in many publications including Art Monthly, The London Magazine, Harpers & Queen, The Times Literary Supplement. He is a contributing editor of  The Fortnightly Review. In 2001 he received a LADA bursary to study the tango in Buenos Aires and now teaches the dance at his studio/gallery The Room in Tottenham Hale. He is the author of a seminal textbook, The Analysis of Performance Art: A Guide to Its Theory and Practice. Details about his collaborative project, Grey Suit Online, are here. His latest collection is From Inside (The High Window).

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