Bradley T. Van Deusen

Bradley T. Van Deusen

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The Painted Lady
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Page 9


I sing my song with a painted mouth
And staccato, blazing breath;
The Jezebel of the Armies,
The Painted Lady of Death!

Born in the flow of the molten steel,
Baptised in flaming oil,
Cursed by the world ere I saw the light
And went forth to my toil;
Pride of my many lovers
My deep-voiced, fighting men.
Caressed as my kisses took their toll
From my steel ringed, concrete den:
Faithless and lovely always
Denying my love in his need,
Giving myself to the strongest hand
While my cast off lovers bleed.
My curious task is ended,
And couched on a wooden bed
I lie and gaze on the passing throng
And muse on my lovers - dead.

I sing my song with a painted mouth
And staccato, blazing breath:
The Jezebel of the Armies,
The Painted Lady of Death!

Historical Notes

Appeared in the booklet for the Second Corps Area Ordinance Exhibit.

Recited the poem at a Greenwich Inn recital, under the auspices of Henry Harrison.

Change Considered to Capitalize Work of Doughboy's Poet Laureate

New York, July 30. - The United States Army recruiting service is not seriously considering a change in its well known slogan that, "The United States Army Builds Men," and adding thereto the concluding phrase, "and Poets," in order to capitalize fully and properly upon the talent of the Service's poet laureate, Ten Eyck Van Deusen, who, while still wearing the olive drab, has invaded the inmost shrines of Greenwich Village with his verse, and who is now bringing out his first volume, "The Painted Lady," which is slated to appear in the September categories.

Although he has often been on programs for reading of original verse at gatherings of Greenwich Village's poetic intelligentia, and appeared with Mary Carolyn Davies, Eli Siegal, and Maxwell Bodenheim, he made his first strictly public appearance at a recital at the Greenwich Inn, under the auspices of Henry Harrison, recently. He read a number of selections from his forthcoming volume, "The Painted Lady," which will include "And There Came a Dancer," and "Convent of the Guns."

Van Deusen, by his own admission, is strictly a military product from the poetic standpoint. He first began seeking expression through the medium of verse while trooping with the colors in the Phillippine Islands, assimilating the color of the tropics. Although he has "soldiered" extensively throughout the continental limits of the United States since then, and spent a term as a student at the University of Illinois between enlistments, all his verse still savors of the Oriental in setting and moves with a martial rhythm - the influence of his years in the Islands.

Because he is a poet, Van Deusen is no less a soldier. He is on duty at Governors Island, where he does his bit toward the carrying on of the Army's business first; after that he is a poet.

John Rose Gildea John Rose Gildea
For a Friend
Ten Eyck Van Deusen
Valiant because true

John Rose Gildea

Maxe's 29 September 1934

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