THE EMPEROR'S NEW CLOTHES
I stole a bathmat
from the Royal Copenhagen Hotel
because it said Royal Copenhagen on it
and how cool is that
for stepping out of your shower onto
every day of your life in America
as a souvenir
of a few dissolute days in Denmark?
I like to snuggle the rich velvety pile
with my ten poor stubby toes
while I’m still dripping from the shower,
which is where I get all my best ideas—
then I feel a little like Soren Kierkegaard,
and a little like King Frederick,
and a little like Hans Christian Andersen
getting out of his claw-foot tub
and getting a great idea,
and standing there for a few timeless
then rushing to his writing table
and spinning the yarn, still naked,
in one inspired sitting,
his trail of wet footprints disappearing
before the ink had dried.
Paul reads "The Emperor's New Clothes":
Subscribe to Channel Five-Two for first view of new videos.
Paul confesses: "This poem was inspired by a recent shower, which is where I get all my best ideas, and by a bathmat that I stole from the Royal Copenhagen Hotel about 40 years ago, and by a lifelong love of all things Danish."