Booth at the Bowery

Tableaux Vivant

a rise of earth
raised, round
circular

a fall of silk
scraped, raw
circumferent

and

below

The Mosh

dirt floor filled
carpenters, mechanics
butcher and cart drivers
Bowery Boys
all, dressed

beyond

the nines

stove pipe hats
(brushed thin beaver)
over greased hair
(reverse Mullet)
reflect the sulphurous
stage light, while high-
heeled boots stand
strong straight
legs

bound

fast
in tight black cloth,
their only colour the
Red
of shirts they can
not
afford

and

above

The Circle

satin-lined

boxes

entomb the elite
Irving and Jackson
Adams and Tyler
Luminaries
all, weighed

down

with wives

silk legs of mutton
(opalesce and brocade)
translucent shoulders
(diamonds and pearls)
glitter in shadows

un

moving

the Antebellum
lower
east side of a
city
not quite
but almost

all together

Await

the arrival of
The Star

his grotesqueries
(drink, madness)
forgotten
(if not forgiven)
by the carmine

gloss
of his glistening lips
by the hare’s foot
dust
of his powdered face
by the resounding

roar

of his Richard
never to be

heard

again


©s rogers, 14 november 2011