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Flatiron Building (author reads it, audio link)
netskyIam

The famous iron-shaped first-NYC skyscraper:
designed by DH Burnham.

The forgotten catch-phrase "23 Skiddo!":
said to originated from the policemen
patrolling E. 23rd street at its intersection
with the wind-catching Flatiron.  

Ladies' long skirtings:  lifted by breezes.
Young men congregated for the possible
spectacle of rarely-seen bared legs.  

Stockings then were generally made from 'lisle':
we know that soft cotton weave today as  T-shirt cloth.

"23 Skidoo!" passed from favor,
replaced by a word we still know today.


=Burnham's Flatiron Follies=
 1
 
 
 
 
The Flatiron Building, upright, presses
 2
recalls of past windblown dresses.
 3
 
 
1902 youths whistle, lie,
 4
in wait to sight some naked lisle
 5
stockings not seen often while
 6
long skirtings are sad iron affairs.
 7
 
 
Up till roughly '23, the coppers
 8
flushed the males: "Skidoo!"
 9
To be sure by then those Irishmen
 10
had modernized their oath to "Scram!"
 11
 
 
To loiter was a pastime, wholly
 12
mastered by old New York's men,
 13
in grunts and gusts
 14
 
 
against crinolines,
 15
at, and with, Burnham's erection.
 16

16 Jan 06

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Comments:

What is the function of this poem?
 — unknown

I like this very much - you've created a true atmosphere - carnavalesque yet everyday and authentic - love the word choices -in many instances.

OPal
 — unknown

Hi and thank you, Opal. If you or anyone see any real problems just speak up.

"What is the function?"  Well, it is whimsy based on historical fact.
I'll get that picture link installed.   That this building exists today is a wonder and a gift
to our cultural memories in the USA.   The Flatiron building set a pattern of style adopted in many cities, in order to utilize the wedge-shaped properties at five-point intersections of streets.   These skyscrapers are steel-framed constructions not seen previously. They are skirted with stone and glass, all -hung- , not struturally, but decoratively on the frame.  In this sense, a skyscraper is a bit like those women of the Flatirons orignal era, who all cloaked their frames in decorative facades.  The poor guys could hardly get a glimpse of anything more than ankles in public and only if the woman walked briskly in the other direction.   The heels, those loiters saw...

-so what's the purpose of the poem? I suppose the genre of poems about buildings is not much worn out.  Neither is the durable, memorable Flatiron Building.
 — netskyIam

netsky i love your reliability. when i need a smile. i read your words
 — bettalpha

thank you dear bettalpha.  here is an audio reading- my voice.  I like to inflect the poem this way:

http://img50.imageshack.us/my.php?image=flatironmp35mb.swf
 — netskyIam

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