Micropoetry Monday: Opposites

Opposites

The Shutterfly edition

He was a movie star,
she, a stage actress.
For him,
life was a series of endless retakes,
for her, endless rehearsals.
He wanted his performances
to be seen by the masses,
& she,
the elite.
They each sought to be remembered
differently—
he,
through those who would enjoy him in the spirit,
& she,
through those who had enjoyed her in the flesh.

He had the knack
for making money,
even as his wife
had the know-how for raising it,
but when he got all mixed up
with “the other woman”
who only knew how to spend it,
he fathered the child
who left him spent.

Her face graced the covers
of every magazine,
his disgraced the front page
of every newspaper,
but when one saw beyond
her made-up looks
& scripted lines,
when they saw beyond
his words,
taken out of context,
& his works—
the intents of which
were misunderstood—
the reasonable person
understood
that just as there was money
in building her up
to the point of deification,
there was just as much money
in tearing him down
to the point of demonization.

Poem-a-Day April 2018 Writer’s Digest Challenge #27. Theme: Story

Snowe White and Her Seven Husbands
(based on the life of Lana Turner)

Once upon a time in Hollywood,
when stars were glamorous and married often,
there lived an explosive bombshell
named Julia Jean Turner,
who wanted a family and a career.
So she sat in drugstores,
distracting the soda jerks in her tight sweaters and conical bras,
waiting to be discovered like a mathematical formula.
When stardom found her first,
she truncated two offspring in progress,
cycling through husbands and lovers like they were nylons.
Rather than the arms of children around her neck,
it was jewels in her post-Depression world,
where steak and tomatoes with her agent–
“the glitz on the ritz”–
replaced donuts and coffee with the hobos.
The child that was convenient for her to have
never married or had any children,
for her mother had shown her that men
were a penny a dozen.
And her mother,
who,
in her irony,
had wanted seven children and one husband,
but had ended up with seven husbands and one child,
let her daughter kiss her cheek that final time,
when mussed-up makeup didn’t matter anymore.

http://www.writersdigest.com/whats-new/2018-april-pad-challenge-day-27

Childhood Memories: The Luck of the Irish

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I remember, years ago, when my brother was little, good things seemed to happen to him. (He once won a Beetlejuice contest and we all got a free trip to Hollywood, though it was a real downer when my parents went trolling for celebrity headstones).

I remember expecting to be picked up in a limousine, but an old man that reminded me of Alfred from the Batman show came for us in a Lincoln, holding up a sign that said Brooks. (Our name was Booker, which I never liked because kids would replace the k with a g.)

So yes, Kel (then Kelly), was lucky, and I would get so sick of my parents saying he had “the luck of the Irish,” to which I would exclaim, “He’s not Irish!”

Well, many years later, my parents would send their spit to have their DNA tested and so it turned out, he was.

We were.

And I am so glad that is something my mom got to do before she passed away, even though Dad got on her nerves with all his lamenting that she didn’t have any Jewish blood (which he though “prestigious”).

Dad, however, was thrilled when he found out he was one-third Scandinavian, or “Viking” (as he calls it). I’d considered getting him one of those helmets with the horns on it, though I could’ve sworn he was French, being so passive.

But even though DNA tells us where we came from, what we’re made of, and sometimes, where we’ve been (outer space in Scott Kelly’s case, for example), it doesn’t tell us where we’re going.

That is the story we get to write.