Frat Burlesque

Goddamn, I love being ahead of the game, even if we’re talking about the dregs of American pop culture. I wrote a poem about the Pussycat Dolls something like two years ago, after reading about them in an article at nerve.com (sorry, I can’t seem to find the link to it – I think it’s now premium nerve.com content). The author coined two phrases that struck me as being pretty cool: “Maxim: the musical” and “frat burlesque”.

I don’t know why I felt compelled to write a poem about a band I’d never heard before. I think the piece was more about the article. It evoked a very clear image of a lonely and pathetic, tough-talking, yet not completely deluded, frat-boy or wannabe ladies man, and the poem just sort of wrote itself from there.

Chris Parsons put some blues guitar behind it and helped me turn it into a performance piece. I also performed it with other musicians, but none of the newer versions we came up with could pump up the poem the way the simplicity and sleaziness of Chris’ guitar could. Whenever I introduced it, I’d ask the audience if they’d ever heard of the Pussycat Dolls. Nobody in Prague had, so I’d end up giving the poem a lengthy intro.

Well, now the Dolls have a hit thanks to their thieving skills Tori Alamaze and Busta Rhymes. And after that lengthy intro, here’s the poem:

developing mannerisms based on the latest trends
our maxim has become musical
and I don’t give a damn about the lyrics
pussy shake pussy take pussy makes the engine
rev into breakdown
whisper how much you love me
as you sing torch songs off-key
to my fellow caveman
bump and swivel and grind
and purr….

your celebrity construction will
grow old and your valleys will
grow rancid with time
oh yes oh yes
why bother thinking about it now
you’re young and phenomenal
we’re getting sucked into your display
sucked off into heaven
your fine heaven
and my mythology develops strange cravings
and rapid-fire mood swings
as I comb through the gristle
of your finely-shaven delta
in regret recovery repeat

christ, I’m so thirsty and focused
see these stankin pussycat powderpuffs
perfect in their persuasion
pretty in their performance
glitter and garter belts
wild manners stroking poles
while I floss my teeth with angel hair
wanting so much
to stay in this condition
forever, the bar so thick with
imaginings
you could be mine tonight
you will be mine tonight

much later I’ll have you in bed
in the palm of my hand
another stain collected
once I’ve decorated your face
in the back of the bus
along the skin of your teeth
I’ve carried you to the peaks of mountains
that have no names

talk to me pussycat
settle into the crack
of my bug-eyed stare
ah I’ve got you pussycat
settling down so quickly
quietly
purrrrrrrr…...

Oct 10, 22:20 (Filed under: Poetry )

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