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.