over the ledge, there is a place colder
than a house built for men.
So what’s the rush, Norma Jean,
look at this apartment—
you haven’t earned
the stairs from which to throw yourself,
no flashes that’ll dart and sting
to capture your plunge like a shot
crane in a dress, soon to be loved
by all that thirsty, breathless red.
Stay, Norma Desmond,
you bet all of yourself on races
you didn’t run and kept a few bills
in the mattress like talisman—
now you haven’t even a coat
to attract a tabloid mention
or anyone to narrate your story.
Let’s face it, we are so far
from Hollywood, you’re Norma
Des Moines. Blame the hoodlums
from your childhood who kept
the street smarts from you, blame
the rusted head of a mother
who taught you nothing,
so you’d accept a solvent man
without reading the warning label.
You never had a use
for a martini glass—
in the dark with a cigarette, tuning
the charge in the air to give
your no-good husband the last
jolt he needs to know that this time
you mean business, you cross
your legs with a can of beer in hand.
Norma, come off the ledge.
Norma of the paranoid sea.
Norma of the dead ends.
Norma of the sour olives.
Before you threaten to jump
again, I’ll get you a gin, ruin
properly, and you wait
for that rotten hubby of yours
(I call pop). What
is the rush, really—
what good is hell if no one comes
back to snitch on what she’s seen?