Hmmm, interesting theme. So what do I have to say about it? I suppose writers are all going to come to this from their own interests and obsessions- which is what makes it so nteresting. But when I think death ,I think legend, and how people make sense and construct the departed with all their own seperate pieces. I think of Edgar Allan Poe
' There is nothing so poetic as the death of a beautiful woman'.
As a woman this pisses me off a bit, and yet it also rings true of society. There is a weird fetishisation of the dead when it comes to women- the women of paintings, film, and tabloid- which disturbs, and yet continues to fascinate. Don't all of us Know Marilyn died in the nude? Of course, we can't only blame Elton John.
How many paintings of Ophelia before the lake have we seen? Whether fictional or real the death of a beautiful woman intrigues, worries, presents is cautionary tale in picture book form; whether we want to or not we continue turning the page.
Here are a couple of my poems about the death of Marilyn from different points of view.
I'm also working on some monologues- but haven't finished them yet.
The Embalmer’s Wife
Truth is, I haven’t thought of her in years.
Remember his care reducing the swelling,
and after asking me to lend an eye.
Of course the movie make-up still had to be applied.
The partners nodded, said he’d done good;
it was only me who mentioned her chest.
something the procedures took away.
I woke with the birds, snuck down
to cradle what should’ve been in my hand.
The enhancers just didn’t seem right.
I searched the house to find my children’s first socks,
a baby’s stuffed rabbit, powder puff,
small things, to stuff in
till she looked herself again.
These things that had been everywhere,
road trips, the coast, picnic, a wedding night,
seemed to make her complete.
As if I had taken her missing chest with me
to show it everything I thought it should see,
got to know it as it said goodbye.
The Undertaker’s Wife
The library book on de-cluttering
says everything you don’t use must go.
The house keeps its hands in its pockets,
I sneak up to find things I’ve never seen before.
those lines of crosses in different colours.
Firing lines of kisses, I’m not sure if I claimed,
neat as sutures on the back of her neck.
to create alps covered in snow.
a small piece of brown paper,
the tag that looped round her big toe.
Each day a little less left. She waters down her eyes
and turns up her smile so loud it’s white noise.
All that’s left is waterfall.
as all eyes follow the perpetual
motion of her hips.
Her mouth moves on and on, as if cut
from a movie he hasn’t seen and spliced in.
conspires, won’t let her forget.
Her laugh like busy hands, exaggerated
for a dull husband in the wings.
A man with one word on his face
shakes the sense into her; his slap
like a tuning fork that makes her face sing.
Her look that could kill as he sleeps, keeps on
breathing, breathes in deep, as if it was love.
Waterfall in her ears
as she goes back to the house, something left behind,
searches room by room, like he moved into her
taking anything of value, closing doors,
turning out the lights.
That year they didn’t sing anything
when the wife brought in the cake.
wax dinting the icing like snow prints,
when we asked the boy to make a wish.
or shut, seemed to sigh their greeting in my ear.
The birds came and went
until night crept in.
The way those last days
she swapped her sentences for Hallmark verse,
Made her body stone by stone into sculpture,
sparkling rhinestones like the fossils of rain.
Old Joe never to spoke to Harry again
after he opened the cellar door.
the pads of her toes,
no one knew were a tip toe in heels.
Rain prick of stiletto’s
like buried children’s toys in sand
on the dust on his floor.
Twenty years since a decent bottle of wine.
The white gloves where she left them,
folded one on top of the other in repose,
etched grey by years, waiting for a posy.
A light hand on his arm for that second