When Barbie Was My Muse
Oh man. Here I commit to NaPoWriMo, and I haven't posted in two days. I've still got poems in my head, but, man, teaching and mommy-ing take it out of me. So...in other news, I met Denise Duhamel! Woohoo! I went to a reading at my alma mater and I was, gasp, early. Only because I had the time wrong. My husband taught the last 15 minutes of my middle school art class (8 girls, hee hee hee, that's revenge for any little wrong he's ever done me!), just so I could be on time.
Well, I was sitting on the outside edge of an aisle and I was one of only three people there and she said Hi! To me! I was cool, man. I said hi back. The reading, of course, was great. And, of course, I brought 1 book and bought two, so she signed my books. And we got to chat a little. She was very kind, very funny, very gracious. I hope to be so cool when I am a famous poet. And, best of all, she liked my hair!
It was a night out, a night listening to great poetry. In honor of all this, and in honor of Kinky, Duhamel's book of poems about Barbie, I am posting two Barbie old poems, written when I was a post-grad, non-wife, non-mother. No villanelle for me this week.
Still Life: Woman In Barbie Mask
When I wear this mask
I feel like a princess,
an American dream
girl, an apple pie, a white
picket fence, a brilliant
ivory, piano-key smile.
And then I take the mask off.
For my legs have grown crooked,
my hair is in tangles, and someone
has bitten off the toe of my left foot.
On Becoming the Woman I’ve Always Wanted To Be:
An Ode to Barbie
I tripped on one of your plastic shoes today.
I was wearing it.
It was a narrow fit,
too small, too red, too pointy,
too made for someone with a blond plastic head.
But I wore a pair of them out anyway
hoping some Joe, or better yet some Ken
would ask me out.
Later, I stopped at the salon,
still wearing your shoes.
I have your hair now.
The beautician said three Barbies
and one Skipper gave their lives for
Still no Ken.
Not even a Joe.
Because I needed a car to go with
the hair and the shoes, I stole a Corvette.
Another narrow fit, and those damn little
shoes tripped me up again.
My little plastic pump slipped off the brake.
I wrecked the Corvette on the interstate.
Good news, though.
Officer Ken said I looked like someone he used to know
and let me off with just a warning.
We’re going out tonight.
Now all I need is a little dress.