A Carnivalesque Revival


SCENE—The same. The evening is drawing in.

The daytime TV of late night vaudeville opens with a wiry waistcoated man.

            Why aren’t you dancing?
            Get hot!

ENTERTAINER—(toes tap a response)

(Cue canned applause, crocodile tears, formulaic ad-lib)

The devil’s virtuoso begins to sway and moan
like an elder in the Holy Roller Church.
This is a carnivalesque revival.
Masks of mechanistic pleasantries drown
out the drumbeat of a staccato pulse.
Disgorging dancehall downbeats
of the slow-drag blues, bucking-and-winging
a profane frenzy of ominous brass,
trombone moan, and a voice
that gives birth to grizzled blues.


Natalie Cochran-Murray lives in Mobile, Alabama. She is an English instructor at the University of South Alabama. Natalie is currently working on a chapbook of modernist sermons as poetry.

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1 Response to A Carnivalesque Revival

  1. Curtis says:

    Yes! I like the way this moves, and it also helps that I have a thing for alliteration!

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