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Paean Poem, following O'Hara's Style

by Julie Adams

TO THE TOE CRUSHERS, HEEL BUSTERS, SHOE DESIGNERS
OF THE NEW MILLENNIUM: FOOT BINDING IS NO LONGER
IN CRISIS


Not you, Nike or New Balance, with your
scientific method, or you, weathered moccasin,
no leather tassels for me, no, stiff brown loafer, I have no penny
for you, nor you, Doc Martin, no saddle shoe, not you,
no, it's the slender heel, the strappy wrap, the sleek slingback, the stalk stiletto, the satin slide,
beautiful shoe, it is you
that I love!

the magazine model sells more than her sole,
her pedicure pristine, like flower icing
at the Savoy Bakery, which is, incidentally
next to the Chinese Grocery that sells plastic chuncletas for $4, no
it's not you, sandalias, who have me wandering in Manhattan, in summer,
past midnight, window-shopping, red lights flashing...

It is you, sexy shoe, yes
all of you, who tantalize and tickle me
with your magical stilts, your pointy beaks, your
occasional slingback or ankle wrap that leave you
creeping, hobbling, wobbling along g r a t e d city streets, come midnight.
It is you I must applaud, and stand up for (though not for long, in stilettos)
Encore, Encore!

No this is a celebration, a red carpet affair
Call the paparazzi, Versace, Vanity Fair!
Manolo Blahnik, Louis Vuitton, Jimmy Choo--I choose you all!
I adore you, I implore you
bind my feet, until I fall.

"They went into my closets looking for skeletons, but thank God, all they found were shoes, beautiful shoes." (Imelda Marcos)

11/10/2003

Author's Note: assignment, turned fun! MODELED: after Frank O'Hara's Poem: To The Film Industry In Crisis

Posted on 11/10/2003
Copyright © 2021 Julie Adams

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Don Coffman on 11/13/03 at 11:35 AM

A very amusing and creative bit of writing. Great word play in there, with a good dash of social commentary.

Posted by Kara Hayostek on 11/13/03 at 10:44 PM

I love shoes! I love manolo and louis vuitton!

Posted by Delilah Coyne on 04/12/06 at 07:36 PM

Wow! What a great poem! I absolutely love it. And yes, me too... It's the painful shoes I fall in love with!

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