Mae West: Advice

Ban tobacco: do bacon abed,
be delectable, collectable, a decent debacle.
Decollete’ don’t conceal; acne, do. Be bold
and be toned, an octane-blonde coed.
Be colonel not cadet, concede nada to doc;
date a cad and canoodle, be eclat on a cot.
Don’t lean on a deacon, be a dolt, a clone:
don’t bet on an Eden, don’t loot, don’t loan–

Be belle and ball too, a deb Coco-labeled;
be ocelot, be lancet, be candled and cabled.
Cancelled? Debated? Booed at to boot?
Elect to be tall. Don’t tan. Eat local.
Be oded, caboodled, be beacon and lect.
Don’t be a noodle: be cool and collect.

From Imaginary Vessels (Copper Canyon Press, 2016). Copyright g 2016 by Paisley Rekdal. Used with the permission of the poet.