Thursday, August 9, 2012

Chips, a poem by Jenny Walker.

Post 666 - Here's a winner from the Foyle's Young Poets of the Year Award, 2011.
 Chips by Jenny Walker
It is our night, so we buy chips
and grin guiltily over the greasy wrapper
at each other, crumpling yesterday's paper in our
sticky, unharnessed hands.
We are fools for love and salt
and we see that it is good.
Our feet scatter stars in the inky black,
with the click-clack clatter that's classed
so coolly cosmopolitan these days.
They have lit up all the lights for us,
for our arms and lips and eyes wide open
to drink it all in. But,
bending at the waist at the pavement's gutter,
clutching each other on the dark street corner -
Sudden vertiginous precision
finds the old woman with the cataract vision,
cramming the memories into her mouth in
salty handfuls and smacking her lips. 
Jenny is 17 and from Cumbria, and is just starting at Edinburgh University studying English Literature. She has always been interested in writing but only became serious about writing poetry in the last few years. Jenny enjoys playing the piano, cloud watching, reading, and talking at length about all these things. She was a runner up in the Anne Pierson Award in 2010.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Ghost Of Marilyn Monroe, a poem by Bill Meissner.

Post 665 - Remembering today is the 50th anniversary of the death of Marilyn Monroe, here's a new poem by Bill Meissner which first appeared in the Atlanta Review.
Bill is the author of seven books, most recently, his first novel, SPIRITS IN THE GRASS, [U of Notre Dame Press], the story of a small town ballplayer who discovers the remains of a Native American burial ground on a baseball field.


Have you seen me in the
mirror? I loved the breeze from the subway grate that lifted my skirt
to my waist, loved the cool billowing
as that white pleated skirt rose and rose
like a mushroom cloud and I half-tried to push it down
while a million men’s eyes—a little embarrassed but still looking—

stared at me.
I wanted men to memorize every inch
of my skin so they’d remember me,
so that I’d always come alive inside their minds,
balanced on a grate and laughing seductively,
train after subway train making the sidewalk shudder beneath

my white heels.
I always yearned for their eyes to follow me like camera lenses
everywhere I went. I wanted to collect their eyes,
keep them in fishbowls in my bedroom like so many glass marbles.
Look at me, I always said, look at me look at me look at me.
I still try to say it, on the stairways of the Roosevelt Hotel, but
my lips can’t

find any words.
I feel translucent now, like the wings of a moth with all the dust worn off.
I’m nothing more than a swirl of those lace curtains
when the window’s closed.
These halls are too dim, the burgundy carpeting too thick.
I hate the way the bellboys walk by me, speaking in muffled tones.
Sometimes I appear in the old mirror in the lobby: a maid, cleaning the glass in slow circles, notices a sad blonde in the reflection. Turning,
she sees no one is
there. Late at night in the hallways,

I want to whisper in the ears of men
who stroll nonchalantly past me, I want to scream at them.
I want my pleated white dress to billow upward
like a blooming flower, some A-bomb cloud they can’t ignore.
But they never seem to hear me.
To them, I’m just a sudden odd draft in this hallway,
a faint, smoky scent of exotic perfume.
For a moment, they might wonder where it came from, and then
turn to look back into their girlfriends’
flawed faces.