Monday, January 30, 2012

*Poem: "Mustangs"*

                                                                        -for Susan now

 The thing I admire about Marilyn is how she tried,
with makeup, with movies, with husbands.
In that last film with Gable and the mustangs,
black and white Nevada desert,
she was really good. But then, she was always good.

She looks like a voluptuous ghost,
stiff blonde wig to make her hairdresser's
work easier on location.
Marilyn did her job, when she got to the set,
when she let loose, went into motion.

Even in black and white, her eyes still
burn like blue coals, even this late
in her soap opera of her life.

Did she stall out of terror—of Gable?
She looks so at home in his big tanned hands,
ready for bedtime stories and tucking in.
Not the camera; they had a thing, her steadiest beau.
Their love alone has stood the test of time.

Maybe under those Western stars, far Vegas overkill
black between the lights, endless Sierras
rimming the horizon, she felt even smaller.
Maybe Norma Jeanne
kept Marilyn up all night.
"We're all dying," she says in the film,
and what kind of line is that to stuff
in the mouth of the woman you used to love?
Bitter Valentine, a caution to other women
who think they're safe with a writer.

Mustangs at the end of Gable's rope
snort and buck, give a good performance,
slick with prop sweat.

I admire how she worked to stay alive.
Consider how little Norma Jeanne
was ever worth on the open market.
She knew that with Marilyn
the sky itself
was the

CAR  12/2/99

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