THE WILD PARTY FEATURE
The gang was there when midnight came. The studio was lit by candle-flame; Dim: mysterious: shrouded.
Unhidden shadow-guests swarmed About the room. They huddled crowded In every corner; raised deformed Ungainly shoulders, hideous, tall flecks and heads against the wall. Enormous blurred hands kept stealing Spider-like, across the ceiling; Crossing with sharp, prismatic masses Qf light from swaying spectre glasses. The flames flickered:
The shadows leapt:
They rushed forward boldly;
Across white faces:
And shrank back to darker places.
The party was getting under way Stiffly, slowly.
The way they drank was unholy.
They hovered around the glass-filled tray Ravenously,
like birds of prey.
With mask-like faces
Frozen in rigid, gay grimaces.
They chattered and laughed Stony-eyed:
They drank swiftly, as though they might Drop dead before they were properly tight.
What a crew!
Take a look at Madelaine True;
Her eyes slanted. Her eyes were green; Heavy-lidded; pouched: obscene.
Eyes like a snake’s:
Like a stagnant pool
Filled with slime.
Her mouth was cruel:
That had recently opened and bled.
Her body was marvellous:
A miracle had fused it:
The whole world had seen it—
And a good part had used it.
People bought their seats in advance For fifteen dollars,
Glad of the chance
To see her dance.
Women adored her. Less often, a man:
And the more fool be— She was Lesbian.
Perfectly formed of face,
Full of grace:
Leaving a subtle trail of scent Floating behind him as he went. A soft-shoe dancer
With a special act.
New York, or Paris—
His house was packed.
He had two cars.
He had been behind bars
For theft, public nuisance, rape: Once extra for trying escape. Too bad?
He was fun.
A good sport:
The only son
Qf some unheard-of preacher father
Who had kicked him out as too much bother.
(The Black Horse)
His hips were jaunty,
And his gestures too dextrous. A versatile lad!
He was ambisextrous.
By contrast—Eddie: A short, squat brute, Gorilla-like: hirsute: With eyes deep set, A nose battered
Flat on one side, And teeth scattered. The bones about his cheeks and eyes Protruded grimly,
oversize. . a.
A boxer, you’d ‘ , guess— [I And right.
The man could certainly fight. Aggressive; fast; Punishment-proof:
Each hand held a kick like a mule’s hoof. He might have been champion—
He had the cunning:
But drink had put him out of the running. Away from the ring, he was easy-going; Good-natured—if sober—
And given to blowing.
But after he’d had his tenth Scotch,
A man to be careful of
And when he was mixing gin and rum— A man to keep well away from.
His woman at present was Mae.
She was blonde, and slender, and gay: A passionate flirt,“
So dumb that it hurt,
And better for night than for day.
The rest were simply repetitions
0f the more notorious. Slim editions: Less practised; less hardened:
Less vicious; less strong:
Just a nice crowd trying to get along.
But to-night, Queenie surpassed them all. Exquisite in black;
With a face of ivory,
And blurred gold for hair:
She was something to kneel before, in prayer. ‘My god, Queenie; you’re looking swell!’ Quoth Queenie:
‘l’m feeling slick as hell!’
The Wild Parry wrilren by Joseph Mbncure March. designed and illustrated by Art Spiegelman is
published by l’ir'arlnr priced £ 9.99. © Ar! .S'piegelmun. 1994
The List 16 December l994—l2 January 1995 19