Platypus in Paris

for Justin Shillock

The platypus strolled down the Boul' St. Mich' 
Twixt po' mo's and Platonists, 
leaving a quandary of philosophers pondering: 
the bill of a duck, 
fur of a mole, 
eggs like a turtle's, 
sponge for a breast, claws with venom and a beaver's tail, 
Is the essence of platypus One 
or many or else is "platypus" the
deconstruction of the Taxonomic Paradigm?

The platypus slouches through Place Pigalle. 
louche, played jazz 
with Dali Picasso Braque and Gris, 
a panoply of painters plastered in Paris. 
footbone connected to the 
eye cone connected to the duckbill 
connected to the headline 
Platypus Bites Man

The platypus scuttled into the Jardin des Plantes 
nested in the platypusarium 
danced a gigue with Flat Foot Floogie, 
a Mlle. Ornithorhynque! 
Vexed lexicographers explained: "bird nose", 
as ornitho from ornitho-logist bird, conjoined with rhinoceros, 
from a herd of rhinocerontes 
(and few have heard of rhinocerontes 
but fewer still, of puddles of platipodes 
except for some folks from the antipodes.)

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