Poem of the Day ~ Saturday May 26

May 26, 2012 § Leave a comment

The Late Show

Natalie Wood, in the middle
of reciting a Wordsworth poem,
bursts into tears and runs out
of the classroom. Carroll Baker
gasps in an oxygen tent, her
platinum Harlow hair damp
and flat. Kim Stanley throws
a champagne glass at her mother’s
taxi, screaming “There is no god!
There is no god!” In a chiffon
cocktail dress and ankle-straps,
Joan Crawford staggers down
the beach, convinced her lover,
Jeff Chandler, is out to murder
her. Lana Turner learns that
she and her daughter, Sandra
Dee, are in love with the same
man. Jilted and demented, Suzy
Parker crouches in an alleyway
in a soiled trench coat, sifting
through Louis Jourdan’s trash.
To avoid forging the signature
of her twin sister, whom she’s killed,
Bette Davis grabs the red-hot end
of a fire iron with her writing hand.
Doris Day, in a black lace peignoir,
sobs into the telephone: “Who are
you? Why are you doing this to me?”
Julie Harris hears Hill House
beckoning, beckoning. Geraldine
Page begs Paul Newman for a fix.
Simone Signoret wipes her finger-
prints off the glass as James Caan
collapses, dead at her feet. Lee
Remick pours herself another
drink. Trembling, Ingrid Berg-
man watches the gaslights dim.
Shirley MacLaine breaks down,
admits her attraction to Audrey
Hepburn. Barbara Stanwyck tries
to keep Capucine. Elizabeth Taylor
scrawls, with lipstick, “No Sale”
across a mirror. Deborah Kerr
smolders. Shelley Winters shrieks.
Kim Novak screams and backs out
of the bell tower, into thin air.

-David Trinidad, from The Late Show (Turtle Point Press, 2007)

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