Johnny Noir

Rookie (New York City)

From Gibson Girls To Flappers - Poem by Johnny Noir

From Gibson girls to flappers spare me the tribal tattoos,
While the rest of the world goes backwards in time,
Timeless beauty has run out of time—
Alternative beauty is just another word for ugly,
As a transsexual walks the runway of Miss World
I find myself daydreaming about fat prostitutes
Working their way through community college—
Whatever she said is inscribed on my soul
Along with Louise Brooks' signature—
A modern girl taking her underwear off hardly shocks,
Women from the 21st century look like Gibson girls now—
Lillian Russell and Sarah Bernhardt
Creating a template that has never been rivaled,
The 20th century gave us Bettie Page, Louise Brooks, Greta Garbo,
Joan Crawford, Alice White, Doris Day,
Marilyn Monroe, Brigitte Bardot, Jean Mereau,
Grace Kelly, Raquel Welch and Catherine Deneuve—
Housewives in housecoats write the books we want to read,
While wearing saddle shoes, poodle skirts,
Bullet bras and angora sweaters—
Imagine if Jules Verne wrote War And Peace,
Would it be a Gothic steampunk masterpiece
Or dated as a pictograph because sex symbols
Could never have happened before the Renaissance—
There are no Byzantine sex Goddesses
Unless one counts Pallas Athena—
But Orthodox Christianity is abstract and sex symbols are not abstract
From Gibson girls to flappers to 1950s debutantes and secretaries
Whose ball gowns and pencil skirts is as outdated as the corset
And yet they were the hipsters of their day
Who learned to shoot dope and get pregnant in college,
Who hung out in jazz clubs and dropped acid—
I'm pretty sure they were not hip,
Were the furthest thing from hip—
Sex symbols are not hip; being sexy is not hip,
And we don't live in a sexy world—
Unlike the 18thy,19th and 20th century,
Which all inherited the Renaissance tradition
And ran with it until it came to Japan—
The Russo-Japanese war ending the Renaissance,
Bringing back the Byzantine
Along with Louis' the XIV, XV and XVI—
Karl Marx and The Bourgeoisie had it out in the streets
Like Coptic and Muslims in today's Egypt,
Where there are no sex symbols from Gibson girls to flappers—
Belly dancers are not sexy and naked girls are a boring cliché

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Poem Edited: Friday, May 25, 2012

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