A Baroque Scot’s Excess

August Kleinzahler

Sesquipedalian Thomas, aureate Urquhart,
Sir Thomas of Cromarty,

author of THE TRISSOTETRAS:
OR
A MOST EXQUISITE TABLE FOR
RESOLVING ALL MANNER OF TRIANGLES,
and the most commendable
LOGOPANDECTEISION,
OR AN INTRODUCTION TO THE UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE,
dedicated to Nobody,

and, not least, his PANTOCHRONOCHANON:
or, A PECULIAR PROMPTUARY OF TIME
which, with rare exactitude, traces the URQUHART line
from the Creation of the World and Adam,
surnamed the Protoplast’, ‘unto 1652:
these including Esormon, Prince of Achaia (2139 BC)
and Pamprosodos Urquhart, who married Termuth,
the Pharaoh’s daughter who found Moses among the bulrushes.

Royalist, bane of the Covenanters, stalwart,
Christianus Presbyteromastix:
the Raid of Turiff, Inverness, Aberdeen,
veteran of the Battle of Worcester;
thrice imprisoned in the Tower of London;
who would perish from laughter
upon being told of the restoration of the King;

found him a puddle outside the Cat & Mustard Pot,
sat

and waged pitiful tyranny against the phlegm, vibrato and tears
that bespoke drink on a heavy heart.

Chivvied by creditors, pilloried by malison of every kind,
his noddle much modified by the liquor of grape,
he gan to unleash his word-hoard
and visit upon the worst his fullest measure of clapperclaw;

then, drawing both his oak-handled dirk and sgian dubh
from his gargantuan purse of Rhetorick,
fell about them with trope and paramologetick,
diminishing them tapinotically and by paraphrasis,
next by means of simile and cromatick,

followed hard by a sulfurous hail of scorn:
slabberdegullion druggels, freckled bittors, drawlatch hoydons,
ninny lobcocks, scurvy sneaksbies, blockish grutnols, doddipol
joltheads, slutch calf-lollies, grouthead gnat-snappers, noddie-
peak simpletons, turdy-gut shitten shepherds;

and still worse, threatening
to plunge his Roger into their packet-rackets one by one
until they set off a great pioling in the manner of pelicans.

And having routed them thus,
good Sir Thomas shook himself with a meaty hiccup
straight in the air, up nearly a foot,
then dropped him smartly on the coccyx.

This knight is poorly, Tom said,

and let go his precious Scots cookies
near to whole
like a molten archipelago on rainy cobbles.