The Poetry Brothel and their unearthly world (III)

The Poetry Brothel the creative “Cirque du Freak” from America and continuously extending to Europe. We talked about what the Poetry Brothel is in the first article and continued with a presentation of members within the second article.

Their movement introduces you to a part of the world which you can find mostly only in dreams and they disappear upon your awakening. With bits and bites which remind me of Darren Shan’s Saga, they also bring me to the sense of a sense of a kind of lifestyle without any borders, without a defined schedule, with expressive “deadlines” not critical statistics. The idea of: what matters is today, tomorrow we shall discover together. As if a new spell is cast.

I could take this as far as imagining the the character each person has built for his/hers own self, offering as a whole, an image of the raiding party from Stephen King’s post Shining book “Doctor Sleep”, but without the murdering people for their powers part. Or, who knows? Having such serial killers would be a blessing for humanity, considering the global ignorance. 🙂

Or how Anton LaVey used to say that before he got into Satanism he used to work for a circus, even if that is thought to be a lie (all truth came out after his death), I must say that there is an air of mystical and occult, of something curious going on beneath the art they expose and that’s what caught my attention most.

Continuing the “saga” of The Poetry Brothel, in this final article we will talk about, the so-called “Poetry Whores Emeritus”.

the poetry brothel

Laura-Lee Gunstreet

Born and raised on the top floor, in the darkest corner of the brothel. She collects feathers and words there. When she is writing she is searching for an alternate universe. When she leaves feathers she is claiming it as her own.

She enjoys walking barefoot in the parlor. Though young, she knows the town is sinking and the moon is baleen. She looks at it through glass bottles. There’s amnesia in her kiss. She’s a swan but a pistol. She can’t help dancing to the sound of a piano. Father unknown.

Ursula Giovanna de Gassion

A pale, devastated whore, was born in Paris and orphaned at an early age. She grew up on the streets and as soon as she reached her teen years she became a heart breaker. Every one of Ursula’s lovers has committed suicide. This sounds unlikely but it’s true. Ursula has a penchant for looking off in the distance and sighing a lot. Terribly addicted to absinthe and has only become more of a mess since joining The Poetry Brothel.

Oola Waistbinder

the poetry brothel

An artist and writer and has published three collections of poetry: “Ribeye”, “The Discovery of Bones Should Be Frightening,” and “The Beard I Knew I’d Find You By.” Her dental floss mobiles have been featured at the Centre Pompidou, and she has choreographed two commissioned pieces for UNESCO: “Slick as the Fingers That Slapped Her,” and “Somersaulting Crawfish.”

Ms. Waistbinder spent her childhood in New England and moved to Switzerland as a teenager.

Papa Fellow

the poetry brothel

Originally corset-makers, the Waistbinders were among the first settlers to land at Plimouth Plantation. Ms. Waistbinder is working on a family history that includes a catalog of Pilgrim undergarments along with first-person accounts of romance at Plimoth Rock.

After seeing one of Ms. Waistbinder’s site-specific installations in Amsterdam’s red light district, she was invited to join the Brothel by The Madame. Ms. Waistbinder is delighted to be a part of this community where love and creativity is celebrated openly. She is currently developing a memoir based on her experimental collaborations with other members of the Brothel.

the poetry brothel

Car Sargasso

A historically notorious mistress of whim and gypsy-influence, Car, has poeted through the ages as the secretly most influential woman to write and sail and ship-jump between Balboa and Columbus. Much later in her career, Car gallantly matched the daring entrepreneurial aggressiveness of Revere, Adams and Edison with poetical propaganda for the New World, those first rustic colonies and the little known advancement of Revere’s silver and art trade.

Harriett Van Os

the poetry brothel

It was a heavy walk through the Floridian swamps. Fire under her fingernails, fever in her heart. She developed the slow blink. Gasping breath. Irregular spasms of joy. Absorbed in guilt, she croons of lost hearts and the spaces we left abandoned. Harriett Van Os, of fire-breathers, tamed the hunger. What results is waste. Her poems, this story, seeping from her bones like sweat onto these sheets.

Oliver Durant

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Oliver Durant like most of you has been orphaned by the trying times of the world; in his case it was the peasant uprising which left him all that remains of the royal line. He has spent most of the intertwining years under neon signs. Surprisingly he’s not soured by any of this, but still don’t mention the scar. You don’t want to know. He’s happy you’re here.

La Petite Mort

the poetry brothel

“a small pale child dressed as the grim reaper

jaw dropped   eyes rolled back   teeth bared

to effect terror

a speeding train over thin ice

pulling into a station

waiting 6 seconds

you are missing it

the scene is in black and white

a pale man in dark clothes across the platform, rose in hand

a blaring red rose

another train comes

you let it pass

he is gone

when you close your eyes   his grey angular face

let your jaw drop   roll your eyes back   bare your teeth

effect pleasure.”

the poetry brothel

Simone

Simone was found floating between the edge of an ocean and reality, one foggy morning last spring. In the early days of her youth, she was bound to be someone you will never actually know. Although she will make you want to. Her ability to illuminate silence and cast shadows about words always leaves her audience wanting more. She is blunt, but seems to find a way to slip some subversion under your radar, registering in your emotion before you’ve had a chance to impose logic. Her work primarily aims to explore the relationship between the emotional palate and the ways language seeks to define it, which has proved a murky, sordid task. She lives and works in Brooklyn as a Night Creature.

The Professor

Wants you. Now. The Professor is almost famous in several disciplines. An award-winning Historian of Science she is also adorable and a bit of a tart. In a recent Poets & Writers review of the Poetry Brothel, the Professor was called an “oracular poet” and that is what she wants to do to you: get Delphic all up on you.

The Butler

The Butler is most often of an indeterminate mood. In his free time, attires himself in gray sweat suits; rumored to have once shot a woman with a pistol; believes in robust exercise. Vents resentment through a series of tiny revolts; when alone, hums; when comfortable, can be witty; is adored by children although he can’t quite figure why. Practices amateur psychoanalysis and pencils his fantasies into a notebook; has a recurring dream in which he walks up to a rude visitor, dips a large shrimp in cocktail sauce, then inserts it wordlessly into said guest’s breast pocket.

The Opium-Eater

“An indeterminate number of years ago, I decided to escape from my lush but confined life in the jewel city of China – strapped with gold and jade, I headed for the Silk Road, soon forced to subside on nothing but powdered jade, a little-known Chinese elixir for immortality. Having roamed for centuries through the Middle East, I eventually found la Ville-Lumiere and years later, London. It was in London where I fell deeply in love with a brilliant bon vivant who united all the charms my imagination had dreamed of. From that point on, a life of hedonism became the vehicle I used to bide the fingers of time while drifting through an endless array of smoky, dream-like encounters.”

the poetry brothel

Anais Anais

Having thoroughly wiped the oil from her silken slippers, she now entertains herself by drifting down the Seine on her houseboat, working on her eye makeup, penning erotica for private subscribers, and keeping up with the Millers. Kept by Hugo Hugo, she flits alone through the European capitals, collecting patrons and adding notches to her well-carved bedpost. This multilingual libertine makes her powder money in the analyst’s chair, teasing out the repression from your dreams and occasionally joining you on the velvet couch, in a strictly professional capacity, of course.

Rusalka

Once entranced entire opera houses with her ethereal voice. Caught one night luring a young stagehand into the Vltava, she was expelled from the whole of Europe, fleeing to the shadowed slums of Manhattan. No longer allowed near even the old Amato Opera, she sleeps her days away at the bottom of the East River dreaming of her lost voice and her nights slinking through alleyways in search of young men to lure to their watery deaths.

Luna Liprari

the poetry brothel

Came from a Sicilian father and French mother, from whom she ran away when she turned 15 in 1925. She was to become the secret love of Hemingway and Anais Nin, living in a tiny room above a butcher shoppe in Paris. They helped her publish a book of her poems. When she grew up, she moved to Argentina and was said to be seen in Mexico, teaching poor women to dance for their husbands. She was a clairvoyant they said, always dreaming of explosions, always making men explode from the inside. She had predicted weapons, slapped Oppenheimer in the face, seduced (and poisoned) two-dozen Nazis, and finally became a Pinup girl and burlesque dancer, touring the world with the Poetry Brothel.

Fanny Firewater

the poetry brothel

Born on a barren farm in western Montana to humble frontier parents. Fanny was left to her own devices as a child, while her parents worked the dry land and herded the cattle.

Her fiery temperament and early-recognized tendency toward sexual deviance frightened her good, hard-working mother and father, as did her hair-neither of them had a single redheaded relative. By the time she was seven, Fanny’s proclivity for running naked on the prairie, with or without the company of wolves, had convinced them she’d been seeded by the devil. Fanny was given her Indian name of Firewater at the age of fifteen by the Oglala and was officially adopted as the daughter of the band’s heyoka. The sacred clown had recognized a kindred spirit in Firewater, whose rages and whims took her as fiercely as had his own before he’d been visited by the thunder spirits on his hanblecheyapi.

the poetry brothel

Jack Chance

Jack Chance is a verifiable louge lizard. You may remember him from such vaudeville powerhouses as the Palace Theater and the original Orpheum Circuit in New York City. Martin Beck considered him “a friendly liability.” Historians have asserted that Jack Chance taught Sol Horok everything he knew about show business, but the details of their association have remained subject to incredible speculation. Jack Chance has a bullet lodged in his left shoulder. Only the Professor knows how it got there, but she’ll never tell. They married in Berlin in 1926.

Echo Rose

Born in the last boxcar of a westbound train. Orphaned at thirteen, she became the fascination of a tiger trainer named Mabel Stark. Dedicated to the art, Echo insisted on living with the Bengal tigers as the circus traveled. Nearly digressing into a feral state, Echo became the youngest woman to wrestle a tiger in front of an audience. The scars on her body, she claims, are not injuries from the big cats.

Calico Cowl

the poetry brothel

Straight from the rafters and in through the out-door, scratching clean this crystal grit, Calico Cowl is the unclean incarnate, a true dust bunny. Born into the lot of a chimney sweep and later, when her womanly figure made her literally more fit for flinging sud-buckets and swashing streets than rappelling ash she became the Madame’s Scullery maid. She soon began repelling sidelong glances from sideways gents too surly or seedy to attain invitation into the brothel down below. Having envied the lavish life of the literati within the Madame’s brothel since she could first smear the soot from her lash lines, it was only a matter of misfortune when, at the last minute, the Madame’s sloppiest escort slipped out, as sometimes happens in brothels, on a mid-mopped morning and ran face-first into a fire trowel, twelve times. Calico consoled the distraught Madame and offered to fill the slot, as it were. Perhaps all that glitters is not gold, but all that’s been blackened is certainly incendiary.

If the Madame shall ever consider coming to Romania, I would be delighted to see them. Even if the Poetry Brothel might not be understood here, I’m sure we have plenty of oddities on our plate, to somehow make it work, or at least to make it a wild disaster, which would be remembered.

 

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Bucharest-based artist. Psychedelic photographer, brain-scratching writer / poetess and priestess of the macabre.

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