Words

 

 

 

Short, Fat, Marilyn Monroe

 

On Halloween,

I dressed up as

Marilyn Monroe.

I wanted a chance

to wear that

long red velvet dress

I bought in New York.

I dropped 40 bucks

on a curly blonde wig

and spent an hour on my make-up.

I wanted to feel sexy.

And it was working for a while, 

I guess.

I spent the whole night at work

fielding catcalls with

men ogling my breasts,

showcased strategically in a

strapless push-up bra.

But he crumpled my

paper sex-esteem

with one flip remark about 

a model on T.V., who,

no offense,

had a much nicer ass than me.

And I drove home 

feeling like a

short fat girl 

in a tight red dress

and a wig that was too blonde

for Marilyn Monroe.

 

 

 

Cassady, Where Are You?

 

Where is my Neil Cassady, my

sandy-haired, blue-eyed

Denver muse-prince;

dancing under the tree tops,

driving me from coast to coast,

sucking the marrow from life

and showing me how.

Cassady!

Someone was eating pistachios

at the bus stop.

I study empty shells,

awaiting the 4B.

In the movies

lipstick never comes off

on the edge of your cup,

there’s always a parking spot

right out front, and

when he loves you

he stands outside your

bedroom window in the rain,

blaring Peter Gabriel from the

boom box he

struggles to hold over his head.

In real life

he never broke up with his last girlfriend,

and I’m his inadvertent unwilling

mistress-experiment.

In real life

sweat makes my mascara run

and someone keeps swiping my shampoo

from the Y.

I bare my arms, my belly,

my back to the sun;

weighing fashion against cancer.

Sex makes me thirsty.

Mangoes taste like gasoline.

A day in the sunshine leaves me looking like

W.C. Fields.

By the time I like the way I look now,

I’ll be sixty,

looking at old pictures.

I have this theory

that the quality of a neighborhood is

directly proportional to the

amount of discarded shopping carts you find there.

There’s been one in front of my building

for a week.

On sticky summer evenings I

check my e-mail; mostly

personality tests and porn links while

the cat finds the

highest spot in the apartment,

which ends up being the top of the bathroom door.

He just stands up there and

wishes he was higher

for a while.

Past a quarter of a century

I reassure myself there’s

ample time left, but

television distracts me from

just about anything, and

time keeps marching on.

Nearing thirty,

I find myself

admiring the lifeguard at the Y, and

the stock boy at the grocery store, and

the new waiter at work, and

I can’t remember libido

ever nagging so loudly.

When I was a kid

I passed a whole afternoon

riding the elevator

in a 50 story building.

I wish anything

could entertain me like that now.

I pass whole afternoons

tapping a pen against my teeth and

remembering the smell of crayons.

Memories lick around the edges;

fat yellow spider chrysanthemums,

like shredded softballs

on my godfather’s casket.

I grind fresh coffee every morning and

flip countless empty pages,

wishing I was

smarter and thinner and taller, but

the ice cubes melt in my drink

if I write in the sun, and

ink gets all over my fingers.

Cassady!

with your tedious, labored prose,

I need your kind of inspiration.

The prince never came back

with my glass slipper.

I never met my movie star.

Life takes WORK!

I’m dwindling in a one-bedroom apartment with

two cats

and room in the basement

for my bike.

 

 

Facts

 

Fact:

94% of heterosexual men become

immediately paranoid after sex

that the woman now wishes to marry him.

He severs all lines of communication

to protect against

unintentional encouragement.

Of the remaining 6%

Three

scratch their butts and watch TV.

Two proceed with vehement stalking:

notes on cars,

unreasonably frequent phone calls,

unsolicited appearances at

inopportune moments;

stuff like that.

One percent

act like rational adults.

Maybe this is not so much

fact

as a bunch of numbers I just

pulled out of my ass,

but it bears striking credible resemblance

to you

expecting me

on your doorstep

with my father

toting a shotgun.

I haven’t seen my father in 8 years.

He lives 8 blocks away from me.

There are 64 squares on a chessboard,

two-hundred and some bones in the human body;

mostly in the hands and feet

-459.67 degrees Farenheit

is as cold as it can possibly get.

Once, in a moment of passion,

a man whispered,

“I stole your burgundy bra.”

Later I found that garment was,

in fact,

missing.

Most people found that creepy,

but I was secretly flattered, like

when Marc just couldn’t wait to get me home,

so his hands wandered in the backseat of a cab.

There’s something irresistible

about being so irresistible;

about someone stealing your underwear.

Penicillin

was a mistake,

so was nutrasweet.

Pearls dissolve in wine.

A day is actually slightly longer than

twenty-four hours.

I’m just looking for something to fill it.

That last time we were together was a deliberate accident.

I hadn’t made your cut,

so I had something to prove.

Don’t worry.

I’m dying slowly,

I think,

and I don’t have the time,

inclination,

or guts

to push the issue.

A dog’s jaws exert

100 pounds of pressure,

or something like that.

Sonic boom surpasses the speed of light.

Most people don’t realize that inertia

can mean constant, steady movement.

I can’t seem to pinpoint the right equation

to supplement stolen lingerie and

deliberate accidents.

I plug in variables

Encouragement,

timing,

enticing disinterest,

and consummation.

But it always comes out the same;

brief and meaningless.

And I’m already in my thirties;

43 years left in the average female lifespan,

maybe more,

with modern medicine.

If I had a kid now,

I’d be fifty before they

were twenty.

eight legs on a spider,

sixteen pints in a gallon,

Beethoven wrote nine symphonies;

ten, if you count that

last incomplete one.

And you won’t return my calls,

maybe just because you’re irresponsible,

but I’m afraid to contact you at all any more.

So I play out

twelve potential futures in my bathtub.

And I’m too lazy to look this stuff up,

so I’ve screwed it all up again.

 

 

 

When I Grow Up

 

When I grow up,

I want to be

tan.

I want clear skin,

perky 34 C’s

and a washboard stomach.

I want to look good

in hip huggers.

When I grow up,

I want to

drink beer in a bikini;

make men’s eyes pop out.

I want mascara

that doesn’t clump, and

foundation that

goes on evenly.

I want full lips and

full-bodied hair, but

not

a full figure.

When I grow up, I want to

marry a tall, dark,

rich prince who

lets me drive his Ferrari.

I want to be a 5’7

size 6.

I want

all the latest fashions.

I want to wear stilettos

to the pool.

I want to be so beautiful,

that nobody

can deny it.

When I grow up, I want to spend

thousands of dollars on

face masks, enzyme peels,

exfoliators, astringents,

cleansers, moisturizers,

bath salts, bath soaks,

detoxifiers, hydrators,

make-up removers, colognes,

separate lotions for my

hands, fingernails,

feet, face, neck and body

in all the scents of the rainbow,

toners, shampoos,

conditioners, gels,

sprays, oils, balms,

salves, mists, tonics;

so it takes me

3 hours to get ready

and I have to build new shelves

to keep it all.

I want to shop

to make myself feel better;

new shoes

to cure depression.

I want stacks of

exercise videos, diet shakes,

appetite suppressants,

and laxatives, and

I want to feel guilty

every time I eat.

I want to weigh myself

daily.

I want to have surgery

to alter what my

parents gave me.

I want to try on 15 outfits

before I leave the house.

I want to wear

base, powder, rouge,

eye shadow, eyeliner,

eyebrow pencil, mascara,

lip liner, lipstick, and lip gloss

every single day.

I want to be embarrassed

to sleep at a man’s house,

because he’ll see me in the morning.

I want to

skip wearing a helmet,

because it’ll mess up my hair.

I want to look in the mirror

257 times a day.

I want commercials

to make me feel ugly.

I want to have sex

to boost my self-esteem.

When I grow up,

I want what all little girls want;

to be a media fed,

capitalist culture driven plastic byproduct

of the American dream.

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