Sunday, November 4, 2012


"She called me up and said it was her birthday and would I come and I said, ‘How terrific.’ . . . The birthday party was me and her, a whore friend of hers and her pimp, and the cake." –Diane Arbus

Here’s her birthday cake again,
there’s her body on a couch,
where she’s showing cleavage
and a torn stocking.
The last three photos go back
to 1966, the year they met.
Diane returned three years
after, when only Vicki’s friend,
the whore with no real name,
and her pimp, also unknown,
dropped by and invited Diane
over to their place, where love
games went on you know of
already, Diane stripping down
wanting him to turn her out.
He says no, I mean business.

Start where you left off
and realize there was no party.
Vicki’s no longer happy.
She just wants to get off.
Whore says, Let me help.
Diane never sees Vicki
after March 29, 1969.
Diane’s telling her students
something she never wrote.
At their apartment the pimp
insists Diane watch him fuck
his lady, as he calls her.
That was after Diane lay
across his lap and the whore
clicked the shutter,
then went to lie down on the bed.

In 1966, "on a couch," Vicki
sprawls with a leg under her,
looking dull-eyed
off to the left, photo books
open on the table before her.
She’s wearing a blonde wig
and a see-through negligee,
see bare skin above bare feet;
and when "showing cleavage"
in the V of her black sweater
her arms are crossed,
each hand gripping a breast.
On her face is a question
has nothing to do with ears
dangling their little bells.
She may be asking, Is this OK?

If she looks younger when
she doesn’t need to squeeze
her tits to show how it looks
for a freak to have cleavage,
maybe she’s Cleopatra
scared she’ll become a chicken
in Tod Browning’s Freaks--
she’s seen it twice so far
with Diane, who loves it–-
but she would never marry
a midget. Or any other body.
Yet slum housing’s no circus.
Her breasts crowd the black
negligee, above the little slit
where her stocking’s stretched
to the breaking point, "torn."

(see the four pages of photographs in Revelations, pp. 198, 191, 250-51, 82, and 291)

(II: 4 November 2012)

copyright 2012 by Floyce Alexander

No comments:

Post a Comment