1. La Goulue
La Goulue ( Louise Weber 1866
- 1929 ) star of the Moulin Rouge.
A storm of petticoats,
she'd roar onto the floor,
legs hoisted to the ceiling
or blatantly splayed.
Not for her, Jane Avril's Saluki
angularity, subtle suggestion.
Pissoir mouthed goddess,
who once bawled -
"Hey Wales, the champagne on you?"
to the next in line. Lautrec's fleshy pin-up.
Queen of Montmartre
until bad choices and high proof
brought her to the street. Recast her bald,
obese, a burnt out match seller
plying her trade, yards from the dance hall,
she had set alight.
2. Loie Fuller
Loie Fuller ( 1862 - 1928
), star of the Folies Bergere.
A twister from the dustbowl
of the Midwest she swirled in,
to arrive centre stage of
the Belle Epoque.
with silk draped wands
conjuring her into a lick of flame,
unfurling orchid, restless moth.
A kaleidoscopic spectacle,
multi-hued with tinted slides,
luminous salts. More scientist
than artist, she claimed.
Electric Terpsichore of cloth and light,
shape shifting still in bronze and paint,
long after her final fire dance
brought her to ash.
If you have any thoughts on these poems, Stephen Bone
would be pleased to hear them.