Sunday, October 27, 2013

"The Masquerade"

Marilyn Monroe - Google Images
The Masquerade

Loveless red kisses
thrown to adoring crowds
drunk with adoration
for an image invented

before a cold piece of glass;
a friend who never lied
as she stood, eyes naked,
vulnerability exposed.

Yet Fame insisted all debts be paid -

so with lips painted red,
flaxen hair; coiffed,
eyes; cat-lined,
she embraced make-believe

waved, smiled
delighted fans
and hid behind the world's
most recognizable laugh.

by Margaret Bednar, October 27, 2013

I originally wrote two versions of this on December 27 & 30th, 2011.  I've tweaked it once more, and am happier with this version.  I am linking this with "Imaginary Garden with Real  Toads - Sunday Mini Challenge: Masks".

I took a road trip this weekend- had originally planned on the mountains, but changed my mind and visited historic Jamestown in Virginia.  I hope to squeeze out a poem about America's "first river" soon.



16 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

we all masquerade to some extent. hopefully not to this tragic end. :)

Siggi in Downeast Maine said...

I love what you wrote...
Marilyn Monroe is a particular favorite of mine...her history and biography...and her movies. It is fascinating to me how she, and Cary Grant, in particular, created images to escape from their roots.

Thank you
Peace
Siggi

grapeling said...

I've had an odd curiosity about her because her first two names correspond to my aunt and my mother's names (they were named in the 30's so had no correlation to her fame). Iconic masks, and our fascination for the clay feet beneath them - the rise of the paparazzi, tabloid TV, and the sad lives of so many of the child stars - run through the national psyche (if there is such a thing.) Thank you for sharing this re-write for the challenge, Margaret ~ M

Björn said...

This was fascinating to read. Marilyn was a lot of things.. But all we know are the images she wanted us to see. Very well chosen on the prompt

Ginnie said...

If you hadn't shown the image of Marilyn, I bet we all would have known who you were talking about, Margaret!

Outlawyer said...

The cold piece of glass works well here as I think you mean mirror but it could as easily be camera lens . (Both do lie sometimes I think and may perhaps be overly unforgiving!). Very cool take on the prompt. Thanks Margaret. Karin from manicddaily

Kathryn said...

. . . before a cold piece of glass, a friend who never lied" great poem and like Ginnie said this embodies Marilyn.

Marian said...

yes, the camera. yes, so clear who you are talking about. forever curious about the woman behind that mask, that's for sure.

Sumana Roy said...


last two lines are so poignant....

hedgewitch said...

Classic, Margaret. Mirror and mask,all the inventions that we think we are, so often lies we hold too dear.

daydreamerdreams said...

"Yet Fame insisted all debts be paid"

Ominous and alluring! I love it! Very well written!

Heaven said...

She was a fascinating woman nevertheless ~ This line really struck me:

Yet Fame insisted all debts be paid -

The price of fame & wearing that lovely mask ~

Kay L. Davies said...

I didn't particularly like her, but I always felt sorry for her. What an image to have to live up to...I think Elvis had the same problem...Michael Jackson went so far as to have himself turned into a mask.
K

Hannah said...

Perfect persona to unveil in the history of "the masquerade," Margaret! Well done...love your word choices.

Brian Miller said...

hid behind the laugh...surely...what a tragic story she has...so loved and yet so....

girlwiththepen1118 said...

we are often caught by semantics and image, pulled apart as raw meat! Whitman would've enjoyed your cataloging ! Faithfully Debbie