Spring 2006

Volume 1, Issue 1



Short Chains


Barbara Stanwyck just wanted

a little glamour;

In Babyface, thrown across white divans,

sweating emeralds, sprouting mink,

she conjured a life


away from gray-brown

cloud of Philadelphia, hard hands of fat men

in speakeasies. Cat-eyed, she slunk

through pearl and onyx

penthouses, Mr. Carter

(President, Bank of New York)

scuffing up rich oriental rugs in her frothy wake,


begging for absolution from

age, high blood pressure, flaccidity.

Please Babyface, please.


But not Babyface,

not Barbara Stanwyck.

The power of her body draped in satin,

razor jaw,

pyramids of cheekbones,


no apologies from shoulders

or breasts.



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© 2006 Americana: The Institute for the Study of American Popular Culture