Dorothy Parker, just for a lark,
wrote a poem we remember
for what’s now called “snark”:
“Men seldom make passes
at girls who wear glasses,”
rings down through the years
and one guesses its laughter is watered with tears.
Back in the day before contact lenses,
return with me now as her amanuensis
to tell you the tale of an optometrist
whose practice precluded all romantic trysts.
She could hardly tell people that eyewear’s a problem;
she’d lose all her patients as soon as she’d got them.
So she wore her glasses wherever she went;
she thus had no luck with unattached gents,
and therefore she suffered as Parker foreshadowed;
her first beau said “no,” and the rest all said “ditto.”
But I liked the look retro–
the sturdy black glasses
you saw on the metro
on avant-garde lasses.
It adds one more layer
For one to remove
After spending the day
Viewing nudes at the Louvre.
Horn-rimmed specs on
The bridge of the nose
Is the nasal version
Of legs with hose;
The greater the number of impediments
The hotter the erotic sentiments–
Nature creates romantic suction
By fences and snares to a woman’s seduction.
So when to her office I went for a check up
the hottest part of her was straight from her neck up.
I sat in her chair and I read rows of letters
The sizes got smaller–I didn’t get better.
She checked me for pink eye, and also glaucoma
I hoped she’d ignore my cheese pizza aroma.
My passions rose higher as she wrote my prescription
I lusted in ways that would beggar description.
I couldn’t let go— I needed her badly
So stalling for time I said to her madly:
“Please make sure that you have all the facts—
You haven’t run tests yet to find cataracts;
Or the dreaded curse of a detached retina—
In one of my two eyes, I’ve got one, I’ll bet ya.”
She leaned over on me, the better to see stuff;
’twas now or never To devour this cream puff.
I hugged her so tightly
Time entered suspension;
I came to myself
And she asked my intentions.
“I don’t care if your glasses
Are Coke bottle bottoms
Leave the things on,
as long as you’ve got ‘em.
Remove, if you would,
all your other accoutrements
Your harlequin frames
are a romantic nutriment.
“And then when you’re nekkid,
Except for your specs,
We’ll have wild if blurry
Moral: You never know what will turn a guy on.
From “The Girl With the Cullender on Her Head (and Other Wayward Women)” available in Kindle and print format on amazon.com.