Wednesday, January 10, 2018

All those black dresses

I didn't watch the Golden Globes this year --
I'd already promised I'd go somewhere else
before I realized what it meant I would be missing,
and, much as I'd have preferred
to spend the evening in my comfy chair
watching all those big black dresses
and hearing all their speeches
(and isn't that the best of both our worlds --
Barbie Doll dresses and radical feminism?)
I'd promised,
so I didn't.

But now, in the aftermath,
I'm remembering my own years in the theater:
the acting teacher at the high school
(now deceased but still revered)
who always slept with his prettiest students;
the men who grabbed my ass or copped a feel;
the face of the woman, relentlessly pursued
by the fat rich actor who (unbeknownst to us)
had filed for divorce;
the tumbling man with his bold tattoos
who refused to wear any pants beneath his kilt;
the young girls, staring intently into the mirror,
applying lipstick and rouge to lips and cheeks
that needed neither;
the old woman who refused to let me ever take her picture,
because "no-one can take a good picture
of THIS ugly face."

And the lights are everywhere -- the footlights, and the spots,
the ones around our mirrors,
and the blue light that keeps us from tripping
over furniture backstage --
and each one throws a shadow; that's where the dark things happen.

Everywhere we looked
there were couples being formed
and dissolving; eyes assessing the potential
for a play-long assignation;
the eyebrow raised,
the sly looks, and the tears,
the hope and disappointment and despair
all thrown into relief.

Standing on the sidewalk beneath the solitary bulb
that casts its circular illumination
below the stage door,
the tailor slouches, smoking,
while in the nearby shadows
the ass removes his mask to steal a kiss
from a reluctant fairy queen.

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