Mina Loy

Sketch of a Man on a Platform

Man of absolute physical equilibrium
You stand so straight on your legs
Every plank or clod you plant your feet on
Becomes roots for those limbs

Among the men you accrete to yourself
You are more heavy
And more light
Force being most equitably disposed
Is easiest to lift from the ground
So at the same time
Your movements
Savor of the airy-fairy of the ballet
The essence of a Mademoiselle Genee
Winks in the to-and-fro of your cuff-links

Your projectile nose
Has meddled in the more serious business
Of the battle-field
With the same incautious aloofness
Of intense occupation
That it snuffles the trail of the female
And the comfortable
Passing odors of love

Your genius
So much less in your brain

Than in your body
Reinforcing the hitherto negligible
Of life
Deals so exclusively with
The vital
That it is equally happy expressing itself
Through the activity of pushing

In the opposite direction
To that which they are lethargically willing to go
As in the amative language
Of the eyes

Fundamentally unreliable
You leave others their initial strength
On stretching the theoretic elastic of your conceptions
Till the extent is adequate
To the hooking on
Of any — or all
Forms of creative idiosyncracy
While the occasional snap
Of actual production
Stings the face of the public.