ON VINCENT PRICE
Vincent Price, actor extraordinaire
reaches into his cloak with large sympathetic hands,
smiles with that crooked cataclysm of a face,
eyebrows as restless as Tower Bridge,
pulls back the velvet to reveal plum red lining
and have us fooled;
what might happen next?
will there be bats or spiders
or perhaps the Tingler.
He merely recites in broad sweeps
as camp as a masquerade,
then leads us gently with menace and malice
to some mock byzantine crumbling palace
where histories are treasured in layered tombs.
But then we find arc lights, cameras;
he relaxes and becomes your valued friend,
instead of Dr Phibes or the Witchfinder General,
the voice that warns you of the Hounds of Hell
or his penchant for art and cooking well.