Greasepaint and glitter and show me your thighs
encased in the finest of silks.
Tip me the wink, girl,
sashay on over,
wrap yourself around that lucky ole chair
step on the seat back,
tip it on over
run your fingers through that brassy blond wig.
Bite your cherry red lip,
pout in my direction,
flutter your eyelashes
to hide who you truly are.
(But I can see through you
I can unravel the secret inside).
You hope I don’t know you.
you think you are hidden,
but I have the list
and your name is right here.
‘Jude’ runs right through you
and it’s only a matter of time
until that old gold star
emblazons itself on your skin,
until the flames devour you
and you join the planets spangling above.
‘Til then my sweet hussy
dance for your life.
This week on dVerse Poetics, Lillian invites us to write, inspired by the words razzle, dazzle and sparkle. Hmm… this immediately took me to one of my favourite films of all time – Cabaret. I love it for the music, the clever lyrics and (this won’t be a surprise to those who know me) the period of history and where it is set, in Berlin.
The dark brooding presence of the Nazis is so well-entwined with the hedonistic feel of pre-war Berlin’s cabaret scene, it haunts me. So my idea of razzle, dazzle and sparkle is inextricably interwoven with that, I’m afraid. Hey ho – I never claimed to be anything but a dark writer, except on occasion!
Please do head on over to dVerse and enjoy the work of other poets!
38 thoughts on “Cabaret – dVerse Poetics”
I really love where you took me… It was a long time since I saw the film, but I recently saw it played live, and it was so much darker there… the backdrop of Nazism was so much more present… and even the happiest of songs seemed filled with pain.
Thank you, Bjorn. I’ve heard a numner of people say that the live performance is darker than the film – wow. I have listened to the album of the songs so many times I think I know most of the words…
GREAT take on the prompt! The details amplify this hussy — and dancing neath the lights hoping for their eyes to be blinded by the glare…..this period of history is well portrayed in Cabaret. An amazing film — I’m also reminded of how Liza Minellis starred in this role and of the fate of her mother….the razzle dazzle of both women, dulled by the vices of life.
Thank you so much, Lillian.
I love, love, love this 😀 its as thought the movie sprung to life!! ❤️ Especially the lines “Bite your cherry red lip, pout in my direction, flutter your eyelashes to hide who you truly are. (But I can see through you, I can unravel the secret inside)” took my breath away! Beautifully rendered.
Lots of love,
Thank you, Sanaa.
Lovely reflection of Cabaret Freya…
Thank you, Michael.
This DID go dark. Such an interesting take, Freya. I like it.
Thank you – it turned out more hard-hitting than I intended at the start.
I like your take on this prompt! I appeared in Cabaret years ago, as a chorus person….not the star but it truly was so much darker than the film. All tinged with satire and sadness, just like your amazing poem.
Thank you. Gosh, to take part in a performance of this, what an experience.
It was fun. My most favorite was in Waiting For Godot. I got to be Lucky!
Oh. Somehow I wasn’t expecting THAT. But it works so well, moving from tawdry glamour to pain. Very well done.
Thank you, Sarah.
An unexpected direction for the prompt, and I love it!
That was quite unexpected. I’m pretty speechless as I’ve had family who died horrifically in the Holocaust.
I find it so upsetting to see the use the word “Jude” and reference to the ovens and “gold star” in a poetry prompt. It pains me deeply.
I am sorry if this has offended you. I am Jewish, in case that provides a slightly different insight for you.
It just really caught me off guard and I found it unexpectedly triggering. Thank you for dialoguing with me. We share common roots and heritage. I very much appreciate your response. L’shana tova u’metuka.
the poem is a perfect depiction of the photo….love it!
Thank you, Stacy.
The historical atrocities should horrify all of us…I think this poem shocks us by exposing the reality hidden in(human) hearts.
Thank you, Lynn. The film has haunted me ever since I first saw it.
Dark indeed but then the truth often is. A well written piece.
Thank you, Paul.
All Freedoms are worth keeping
and the Movie Cabaret certainly
as many other other arts from the
40’s bring.. the danger of group
in colors less than free..
current politics in the
U.S.. not excluded..
Thank you. Yes, groupthink is horrifying, and unfortunately alive and well.
Thanks for the
The darkness beneath the frantic sparkle… well done
Perfect example. The whole scene was fraught with uneasiness.
From sultry and sassy to a much darker place. You took me there before I even knew it…the evil hiding within the dazzle. Wow.
Thank you, Mish. I will be catching up on this prompt and OLN over the weekend…
Your poem brought to mind the songs – I am humming Cabaret in my head. It captures the dazzling light and deep shadows of the film and the characters – and even Liza Minelli herself.
Thank you Imelda. I’m glad you enjoyed it 🙂