The Beauty Pageant Connoisseur


For the man who loved women

popular beauties of the day are

an anaphrodisiac: emaciated, androgynous,

anorectic young ladies are no match for

his vision of the unadorned radiance

of the goddesses of the past.


The man who loved women dreams

of an ancient beauty pageant.

The Djanggawo sister's charts

predict fair weather for the contest,

Ishtar will always be first in line,

Greeks sipping Metaxa will cheer Aphrodite,

Romans will root for Venus while

clomping the tarantella.

Hathor, looking bovine doesn't stand a chance,

Helen of Troy might be a close runner-up

with Cleopatra if she forgets about the asp

in her fig basket, but only if Neffertiti

doesn't show.


Waking from his dream he hears

a haunting refrain:

"Yantra, mantra, tantra

where is my one and only

cosmic yoni?

Shiva and Shakti, you are

destined to be as one."


Milton P. Ehrlich