Stephen Robertson

Slanting Lines

For Robert Graves

‘How naked go the sometime nude.’

                                          Robert Graves, The Naked and the Nude

For Robert Graves, the naked and the nude

were chalk and cheese; so what would he have made

in twenty-ten, of all the flesh reviewed

in magazines, on billboards high displayed,

each model posed in languid attitude,

in birthday suit and little else arrayed?

I think he’d add a note to his remark—

in truth, how cheesy is the sometime chalk.