I Want to Be Beautiful Forever

‘Whenever she smiles
Her legs jump up in the air’
Is a cruel jibe

About the ageing,
Devastated beauty
Now partially plastic.

‘I was adored once…’
Rigid muscles mouth the words
With unnatural jerks.

‘You look marvelous –
You’ve had nothing done at all!’
Friends tell her. Fibbing.

Poor little rich girl
With botulism in her
Forehead; collagen

Tautening the slack
Lips that once upon a time
Impelled her body

Towards other lips,
To throb, quiver and become
Achingly inflamed –

Filling the air with
Infatuated nothings:
“Hey, what’s your star sign?”

“Did you read that book?
Did you see that film?
Hey, how weird is that?”

And “I’d die for you.”
“I’d die for you too. We’re so
Meant for each other.”

Feeling things no one
Ever, ever felt before,
Then eroticized

And infantilized
By needy gazes into
Each other’s eyes,

They’ll enter dreamland.
She’ll play her special music
Over and again –

Sit on cloud nine with cherubs
And roses and chocolate
With her blood racing

On a natural high
Of pain-killing endorphins.
Her life climaxes,

Love’s sugar coma…
Then the ‘phone calls start to fade.
Fewer heads turn.

Everything goes wrong,
‘Time’s winged chariot – No, it
Can’t crash-land on me.

No one who’s happy
And sexually fulfilled can
Ever grow old. No.

It’s not happening.
Everyone knows I’m perfect.
Love’s my destiny.

It’s all I’ve lived for –
Love. I’m entitled to it –
That flawless beauty –

It makes me feel real
Bathes me in a different light…’
Her friends edge forward.

At pumping parties
They produce hypodermics
To puff up her pout;

Smooth out wrinkles so
Her beauty can lure lovers
With a Bambi look.

They exfoliate
Her bottomless bank balance with
Favourite methods

Of falling victim
To unscrupulous quacks:
‘Get rid of dead skin

By plunging your feet
Into a New York fish tank
So they’ll eat it off.’

‘Let a beautician
Smear your eyes with snail ooze
For elasticity.

Or try gold facemasks:
“Ultrasonic nano mists
Of gold enter the skin

To lift it, firm it
Make it glow and reduce all
Signs of aging.”

Hari’s, a Knightsbridge
Salon, offers bull’s semen
As conditioner.

“Aberdeen Angus
Bulls are used. Their semen is

And it doesn’t smell.
It leaves your hair soft and thick,”
Says its promoter.

Sheep were sacrificed
As offerings to the gods,
Now Debbie Harry

Has sheep embryos
Injected into her face.
“They take cells from them –

From the liver, and glands;
From the bone and whatever
And I feel just great.”

There are no limits.
In 2009 the BBC
Reports four people

Arrested in Peru
On suspicion of killing
Dozens of people

To extract their fat –
Selling human tissue as
Anti-wrinkle goo.

The liquidized product
Fetches fifteen thousand dollars
For every litre

Sold to cosmetic
Companies for collagen:
‘To give flesh body.’

As costly ointments
Are smeared on Park Avenue
Flesh, third world peasants,

Kidnapped then killed, find
Themselves consumerism’s
Innocent victims.

Snared by job offers,
They were turned into corpse-cream
So the rich could get laid,

Though there’s no lip-gloss
That could glamorize dying –
Dying for beauty.

Balzac said ‘behind
All great fortunes there always
Lurk the greatest crimes.’

Surgeons gouge at their
Fleshly goldmines while angels
Of death beat their wings.

Keats believed beauty
Was truth, but beauty can lie
And roses draw blood.


“Four people have been arrested in Peru on suspicion of killing dozens of people in order to sell their fat and tissue for cosmetic uses in Europe. The gang allegedly targeted people on remote roads, luring them with fake job offers before killing them and extracting their fat. The liquidised product fetched $15,000 (£9,000) a litre and police suspect it was sold on to companies in Europe.” – from BBC News


Illustration, ‘Split Girl’, by Elena Caldera.

By Heathcote Williams

This entry was posted on in homepage and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to I Want to Be Beautiful Forever

    1. ya know m8..poetry is written by fools, for fools _ Billy Childish

      Comment by JoHnny de-Lux on 31 August, 2012 at 9:13 pm
    2. lest the fool has been tainted as Billy Childish was by his own child molestation experience, as a child incurs a beastly rage within a fool! Poetically those whom pity him are fools! Nice piece of artwork Elena fits the imagery of the words.

      Comment by Brent on 4 September, 2012 at 10:27 am
    3. your confusing fun and fantasy with confusion and catastrophe mi old china _

      Comment by JoHnny de-Lux on 4 September, 2012 at 6:35 pm
    4. The reality of a catastrophe is within an artist, fun, fantasy or foolishness me ancient matey or china

      Comment by Brent on 5 September, 2012 at 7:54 am
    5. fuck the artist, remember only a plumber unblocks the bog..hahaHa

      Comment by JoHnny de-Lux on 5 September, 2012 at 8:39 pm
    6. Muahaha Man i got ta say me old Matey ur a charm in a Gazillion, fuck da plumber Coz da bog goin to come out anywayz!

      Comment by Brent on 6 September, 2012 at 4:39 am
    7. nothing is achieved by empty words or flattery _

      Comment by JoHnny de-Lux on 6 September, 2012 at 6:32 pm
    8. Awww so touching M8ty ha ha ha have a good day Pal Muahaaaa

      Comment by Brent on 6 September, 2012 at 9:44 pm
    9. This is a great example of poetry doing what prose can’t.

      Comment by Dave Allen on 18 November, 2017 at 3:45 pm

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.