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Fred Faces Facts

February 13, 2013

By Robert Conquest

The historian, best known for his early exposure of the evils of Stalinism, was a long time buddy of Philip Larkin and Kingsley Amis; their friendship built on a shared love of booze, jazz and poetry, and scepticism of all things collectivist.  And they were boys chasing girls.  Although Larkin would never admit it, he and Conquest, who had a shared interest in porn, were both also pretty successful at the real thing. But Amis, a Herculean fornicator, outdid them both.

Conquest, who is still alive age 95, published poetry too.  This is from his latest collection, Blokelore and Blokesongs.

Fred Faces Facts

If Blanc de Blancs and Blanc de Noirs
(Fred muses, rather pissed)
Are possible, as most things are,
Can Noir de Blancs exist?

His reason tells him in a tick
This is the merest dream.
But is his intellect so quick
When women are the theme?

Not without effort. For he’ll let
His fantasy grow fond
Of, let us say, a blonde brunette
(A sort of Brune de Blondes),

With eyes of blackly hazel-blue
And skin all ivory-tanned;
Tall, tiny; slim and buxom too;
Huge breasts that fit the hand.

– Such dreams he can return to store
(Albeit with regret),
But others come which lure chaps more
Insidiously yet:

A temperamental and serene
Bohemian home-girl type;
A poule de luxe of modest mien,
Mature and not yet ripe;

Demure, farouche; unspoilt and chic …
Of course the lesson is
He shouldn’t actually seek
For contradictories.

So when he toasts a girl in Brut,
From Ay or Avise slopes,
Fred take the realistic view
– Or so he says he hopes.



Girls aren’t exempt. Their dreams evoke
(Fred hears it every day)
The strong and independent bloke
Who’ll do just what they say.

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