Cabaret – dVerse Poetics




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

  1. 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.

    1. 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…

  2. 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.
    Well done!

  3. 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,

  4. 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.

      1. 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.

  5. All Freedoms are worth keeping
    and the Movie Cabaret certainly
    as many other other arts from the
    40’s bring.. the danger of group
    think and
    groups.. etc..
    in colors less than free..
    current politics in the
    U.S.. not excluded..
    terror most
    is most

  6. 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.

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