I’ve Fallen out of Love with Lipstick Names


by Petrus Tornarius (December 2022)

Woman Applying Makeup, Ernst Neuschul, 1930


Il faut que les bottines suivent les babines (The socks should follow the chops).—Québécoise saying


I’ve fallen out of love with lipstick names,
Yves St Laurent, Forbidden Games,
My Bling! Hèrmes, Mattemoiselle Plush,
K.I.S.S.I.N.G, Lip Whip, Loving Lush,
Cendrillon, Very Reddy,
Going Steady, Velvet Teddy.

No Trophy Wife will call me cute,
I’ll never dine out with Babine Beaut,
Billet Doux doesn’t float my canoe,
and I’m immune as well to Ruby Woo.
I’d hate them all, sweetheart, on you.
Despite the promise of Pillow Talk,
I’m not buying—I’ll walk the walk!


An unapologetic squeak ’o the mouse to Stephen Vincent Benét.


Table of Contents


Petrus Tornarius is the latinized name of the South African American poet Peter Dreyer—a form often used by some of his medieval German ancestors. He employs this pseudonym to sign poems he thinks “worth publishing, but perhaps a bit infra dig.” Dreyer is the author, among other books, of A Beast in View (London: André Deutsch), The Future of Treason (New York: Ballantine), and Martyrs and Fanatics: South Africa and Human Destiny (New York: Simon & Schuster; London: Secker & Warburg).

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