Olga Baclanova

Olga Baclanova

“This is the—
word tightrope”
—Carol Ann Duffy,
“Talent,” The World’s Wife

Scene 1

Haughty—Olga Baclanova
Trapeze Queen—Circus of Freaks
High above—the peanut crunchers
The gawking mob—dumb rubes

She tip-toes—the fine line
The word tightrope—is her by-line
Swinging over—the Three Rings
Mooning the—moon high above

But it’s her—tiny ballerina toes
And lovely—long pale ankles
That turn—Tod Browning on
Groveling in her—plush trailer

Pearls before swine—Oink!!!
You should see—those early
Silent movies—with Lon Chaney
Talk about—Carnival tres chic

Talk about—A Season in Hell
Variety Photoplays—Freaks!!!
Can a beautiful—full grown woman
Truly love a—MIDGET?!?

Scene 2

Those after-hours—parties
Beneath the—dark sideshow
Pitched-tent—now imagine
Todd Browning—inching his way

Down on his—hands and knees
In the sawdust—crawling slowly
Between our thoughts—and Olga’s
Lovely legs—those divine Ankles!!!

We hold our breath—it’s not every
Night one gets to see—the Director
Of Hollywood Babylon’s—best films
Charmed by Circe—into a Swine

Dracula—Virgin of Stamboul
Dangerous Flirt—Unholy Three
Devil-Doll—Mark of the Vampire
Wicked Darling—Brazen Beauty

Scene 3
There’s no word net—to catch it
Only the bulging eyes—of Freaks
Johnny Eck—the Half Boy with a
Knife between his teeth—pistol

Cleopatra—and Hercules
Tied up—and thrown into a trunk
With Zip and Pip—doing the Tango
Such a lovely—pair of Pinheads

Olga the Bearded Lady—so shy
Playing the zither—straight from
The sewers of Vienna—plus
Madame Tetrallini—The Tart

While Joe-Josephine—dances
Her usual—Half-Man Half-Woman
Hoochie-Coochie—striptease act
A real crowd-pleaser—for sure

With the Armless Girl—making out
With Prince Randian—the Stump
The Living Torso—smoking his cigar
Blowing circles—up Bird Girl’s ass

We want him to fail—don't you?
I guessed as much—but Todd teeters
Succeeds—the word applause
Written all over—his smiling face

Brazen Beauty (1918)
Wicked Darling (1919)
The Virgin of Stamboul (1920)
The Dangerous Flirt (1924)
Dracula (1931)
Mark of the Vampire (1935)
The Devil-Doll (1936)
The Unholy Three (1925)

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