Thursday, March 14, 2013

Rialto Days

The headline stripper came on stage.
Moose said, She’s skinny.
Marvin shushed him, Mike said, Cool it.
The usher arrived, silence prevailed.
She took off everything. Twirled
her G-string on one finger, her pasties
revolving, she kept the tassels going
bowing out, off stage, the sparse crowd
erupting with twenty pairs of hands
applauding. There were no clowns.
Burlesque was all body.
Later, the word burlesque grew quaint.
After the afternoon show ended,
sunlight hurt my eyes, The Devils was next.

Vanessa Redgrave was the nun
Oliver Reed tortured to confession,
crying out, Yes! But I slept through that part.
I had to read Aldous Huxley
anyway. On screen the Inquisition 
unfolded like his bellows filling up
with the Devil’s spawn,
or so the State was hot to prove.
I saw through the bars the Holy Women
take me back to Salem, after Europe
spelled The End of Ken Russell’s film.
On Market Street the hustlers were praying
God give them courage 
as they preyed on the crowd leaving.

(14 March 2013)

copyright 2013 by Floyce Alexander

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