“In an era of breadlines, depression and wars, I tried to help people get away from all the misery . . . to turn their minds to something else. I wanted to make people happy, if only for an hour.” -Busby Berkeley
What makes a mind see the world in kaleidoscope, see
In a geometry and gesture invisible to the rest, drink
Inspiration from the inside of a flower or the ripples of
Those legendary LA swimming pools?
Take after take, aligning legs and angles as a womanly
Mandala, a perfectly fractured window, a wound
Gaping symmetrical; black and white, picture-perfect
Violence, driving our sense of feminine as object.
Busby Berkeley wed woman after woman, six times
Cycling through vows, never minding whispers,
Lawsuits, lives left behind, the choreographed
Pile of spent starlets in a city of so many.
A vision to bring masses something marvelous, at
The expense of masses, at the enforcing of norms
Hollywood would sustain for generations, shot after
Shot of identical women doing what they’re told.
His directorial debut, a surprising criticism of
Rape culture and harassment, coming down on
Corporate misogyny, the he falls out of focus,
Complicated, imperfect as the rest of us.