Academic journal article Michigan Quarterly Review

Poem in the Manner of the 1950s

Academic journal article Michigan Quarterly Review

Poem in the Manner of the 1950s

Article excerpt

Meet Doak Walker, the last of the all-American glamour boys. Say a prayer for Gil Hodges, who went 0 for the World Series. There was one big secret that separated the men from the boys, and that was what a woman looked like without her clothes on. A naked girl in 1959 was not the same as a naked girl in 1939 or 1919, wasn't that true? It was indubitably true, but how would we get the girls to prove it? If one had pretty breasts we'd say she was "stacked" or had big "knobs." Of such remarks were many Friday night conversations composed. Rosemary Clooney cut a record with Bing Crosby covering "Brazil." Sinatra at the piano smoking a cigarette pointed out that it was great to "know your fate is / where the Empire State is." As nice as it may be to travel on the camel route to Iraq, it's a whole lot nicer to wander back. That was the consensus. The center fielder with the crewcut got the girl, Grace Kelly got the prince, and the heavyweight champ retired undefeated. Bill Holden blew up the bridge but died in the doing. There were no homosexuals yet one of them was expelled and no heroin addicts except jazz musicians and no card-carrying Communists except nondescript men in suits carrying briefcases with film canisters in them. …

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