How much simpler if men were not striped like tigers, patched like clowns,
If alternate white and black were not further confused by greys and browns,
If people were, even at times, consistent wholes,
If the actors were rigidly typed and kept their roles,
If we were able
To classify friends, each with his label,
Each label neat
As the names of cakes or categories of meat.
But you, my dear, are a greedy bitch, yet also a sad child lost,
And you who have swindled your partners are kind to the cat,
And, in human beings, this is not this nor that quite that
And the threads are crossed
And nothing’s as tidy as the mind could wish
And the human mammal is partly insect and often reptile and also fish.

A. S. J. Tessimond

(Arthur Seymour John Tessimond, an English poet, who suffered from bipolar disorder, died of a brain haemorrhage in 1962. In 2010 Bloodaxe books published a new collection of his poetry.)