George Auriol to a Patron at Le Chat Noir
“For it was Auriol who concocted the Chat Noir-Guide towards the end of 1887.
The Guide provides, for every objet d’art and knick-knack purportedly on display in the cabaret, fantastical tales of provenance.”
—From Cabaret to Concert Hall, by Steve Moore Whiting
Come in, come in! Here, have a glass of beer:
The best in France—so says the Pope, you know.
I’ll seat you where he sits when he sups here,
beneath these poker-playing dogs (Van Gogh).
Don’t touch, the paint is fresh! I knew the model:
Lovely gal. Alsatian, I recall.
Her only vice, a weakness for the bottle;
poor dear! Not drink—the bottle, that was all.
These cups were looted from the sack of Troy
aboard the pirate Pinkbeard’s twelve-mast scow.
Our beer, which I can see you quite enjoy,
is brewed by tight-lipped monks who take a vow
to never speak a lie—I, as a boy
was in the order. (I have left it now.)
(after Ruthless Rhymes)
politically, my wit is toothless.
I am, like Kennedy, resigned…
And so you see, this rhyme is Ruth-less