Defying Baudelaire

In The Painter of Modern Life, Charles Baudelaire wrote, “What poet would dare, in depicting the pleasure caused by the appearance of a great beauty, separate the woman from her dress”. This is the motivation behind this mixed media piece from my “Seven Virtues of a Courtesan”. During the season of Le Chien (Beauty & Envy), I present “Defying Baudelaire” and a piece from The Seed entitled “Beauty”.


"Defying Baudelaire" by Franky Vivid

“Defying Baudelaire”
by Franky Vivid


feral beauty
animal and tameless
a fleshly brute that ruins me delicately

and You

You could buy the things
told to You of beauty
and daub them on
wear each trinket with precision
You could meticulously limn out a million faces
each one different
more alluring than the last

but why?

when so undraped as this
without a word
without a gesture
without oppression
You fling effort against the brink
and pull Your skin across my eyes
soaking me in the salve of Your symmetry and shapeliness

i’ve theories, speeches,
i’ve cause for what defines You
all instinct and implement
proof and conjecture

i even defy Baudelaire,
it is me who dares to separate You from your dress
for Beauty in nude does cause more pleasure

but tonight,
dared by You,
confounded by Actual,
they seem mere excuses
meager attempts
to describe You to me

because You already know
and get a little bit bored
that i lap it all up without resting
raking with both hands
and slamming into my eyes
all and every of the slightest of You
breathing Beauty
sucking endless draughts of the stuff
jealous of my own lungs

exhaling excuses again
weakly worshipping
in my own insufficiency

and tonight,
You seem but a shard of it all
a glimpse
a spark to the sun
and yet all of history is inadequate
to utter You even once

quite simply
i find
that You are Beautiful

About FV Everleigh

FV Everleigh is a queer preacher’s kid in Los Angeles. After years as an award winning Christian rock star, FV toured the globe producing acclaimed burlesque shows with a world famous stripper. They eventually moved into John Wayne’s favorite New Orleans brothel and adopted the name Everleigh in tribute to sisters who ran an opulent Chicago bordello in 1900. In addition to training at UCLA, FV has a Television Writing Certificate from Writing Pad LA and is a Roadmap Writers TOP TIER writer. His scripts have placed in the ScreenCraft, Roadmap and Inroads Fellowship competitions. He has a collection of short stories and a novel both being published in 2022 and is a guest contributor to Twenty years surrounded by sex-positive women, outré artists and circus misfits has informed FV’s sexually subversive, morally murky, visually yummy stories where marginalized protagonists win...eventually.
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