Dear reader, life is too short for crap books.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Queenie Was a Blonde

The Wild Party by Joseph Moncure March, illustrated by Art Spiegelman

This dirty little poem about vaudeville types and their low-life friends boozing it up and falling into bed indiscriminately was banned in Boston after its initial publication in 1928, then faded into semi-obscurity. Art Spiegelman's delightfully saucy and wicked illustrations steal the show, but even on its own, the verse crackles with a glorious depravity:


"The party was getting under way
Stiffly, slowly.
The way they drank was unholy.
They hovered around the glass-filled tray
Ravenously,
Like birds of prey.
White, intense;
With mask-like faces
Frozen in rigid, gay grimaces.
They chattered and laughed
Stony-eyed:
Impatient:
Hasty:
Preoccupied.

They drank swiftly, as though they might
Drop dead before they were properly tight."

If you like...: the works of Edward Gorey, this book is for you.

1 comment:

brady said...

My favorite bit, at the start of the second section:

"Studio;
Bedroom;
Bath;
Kitchenette:
Furnished like a third act passion set"

I think when the author died he was reincarnated as Tom Waits.