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.

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