The Blonde & The Bad Luck Monkey (A Poem As Time Machine)
I'm bored. I wrote a poem the other day! but dislike posting brand new poems since I'm supposed to submit them to journals and stuff... If I can ever get it together and follow through. So instead, here is a older poem that I have long loved, but will never read again publicly or publish anywhere. It was written during the OJ Simpson trial in the 1990's. I retired it because its so dependent upon understanding history and its references, many of its jokes and names would be lost on a young audience outside of a history class. I decided to post it here with hyperlinks to offer receipts, context, trivia and illustrate where my mind was as a young poet. Since it was written more than 25 years ago in the 90's, its wildly inappropriate and full of ableist, outdated, and sexually immature language which will not be apologized for. If you're easily offended, please stand by-- fire in the hole! So here's a poem as time machine, a kind of tongue-in-cheek history paper with notes to follow.
Marilyn Monroe-1955-The Seven Year Itch
Marilyn Monroe knew-
She faked her own death then
Hightailed it to Cuba to play house with
Her girlfriend Fidel Castro1—
Who was so deep in the closet
Go-go boots and fishnet stockings didn’t know.
Marilyn and Fidel swapped panties and
Giggling Hollywood crushes over lipstick
Smeared copies of Photoplay like
Prepubescent pajama party peninsula poon-tang.2
Marilyn’s invention of the dumb blonde
Was a smoke screen shielding her need for
World domination! How else do you explain
Her affairs and marriages to Joe DiMaggio,
Powerful and respected men of the free white world?!?
Cameras purred like sirens beckoning
Her to beach herself on the sands of death and self-destruction…
But in reality she was a wicked politico3
And bitter, bulldog business broad with high aspirations!!!
After realizing neither John nor Robert Kennedy
Could get their tongues past their stiff upper Boston lips4
For oral pleasures, she rung up hot, horny Hoboken homeboy Frank Sinatra
To see if he could use his mafia ties to arrange hits!!
Frank belted out ‘Luck Be A Lady‘ while his pot’na
To cash in sharp shooter skills scored while serving the Marine Corps
And do a rub out to clear some gambling debts5.
Meanwhile, Marilyn macked her former
7th grade math teacher Jack Ruby to hit the hit man!6
It seems back in the day, Jack offered to sniff panties
In exchange for good grades! So he got out of teaching
To avoid prosecution and opened up a bar in Texas.
But Jack felt so guilty about his past transgressions
That when his former student done good
Returned with a favor, he couldn’t say no.
So after the assassinations and cover-ups,
Marilyn, under the perfect cloak of death,
Leased a U.F.O from Area 51, flying the
friendly skies in her retirement–dropping
Every Halloween in the ghetto for spook
Trick or Treaters out of spite
‘No Se Habla Menage a Trois’ with Hollywood’s
biggest starlet AND refused to take second billing
to her in a forthcoming project entitled: “Some Like It Hot“
Then one night, while mixing up prototypes for Tang
In the U.F.O.’s lab, Marilyn accidentally invented AIDS
When her pet rhesus monkey, Tickle,7 mistook a beaker
Escaped from the U.F.O capsule through a faulty
Air conditioning vent and fell to earth
Where it promptly bit a Haitian brother on the thumb
When dude tried to snatch Tickle up for a religious sacrifice.8
Marilyn, too terrified to step foot back on Planet Earth,9
Never rescued Tickle leaving him on his own.
So the monkey hitchhiked in airplane luggage from
Haiti to Los Angeles where he survived by working
Part time in Circus Of The Stars and at night walked the
SPCA stroll as a high priced pet gigolo who counted
Dogs and cats of the rich and famous as his clients.10
Tickle was a bad luck monkey born out of the blues
One night in a jealous rage
He went out hunting for a former lover, a male
Japanese Akita with homosexual tendencies11.
The monkey, drunk and high, mistook two humans
Locked in coition at the base of a tree12 in a fancy Hollywood
Estate for his ‘bitch’ and secret lover
And using skills picked up at the circus,
Unwittingly murdered Nicole Brown Simpson
And Ron Goldman.13
Come daybreak, once the monkey regained consciousness
And sobered up–realizing his mistake,
Tickle jumped on the next Greyhound to Mexico where
He paid penance for past indiscretions
By sucking the blood out of goats and chickens
Until one night he was spotted in the shadows
And named by a hysterical Mexican eyewitness:
1. Its wrong and unfair to incorrectly imply Castro's sexuality as being queer or questioning, even under context of a 'joke'. Its placement here is to lead readers to recall J Edgar Hoover's long rumored sexuality-- which isn't any better-- and to introduce the conspiracy around the Kennedys involvement with Monroe. 2. I do now feel guilty for all the sexualizing in this 25 year old poem, but it reflects the ignorance of the time it was written and certainly the mindset of gossip magazines and reportage from that era, which this poem is attempting to emulate -- and which I read a lot of. Much of my education in the last quarter of the 20th century was from the laps of abusers and bigots. My bad. For more on the journalistic alliteration in this poem, please search for James Ellroy's wonderful short story, Tijuana Mon Amor. The newspaper alliteration style originated in Confidential magazine and from the troublesome journalist of the 1940's and 50's, Walter Winchell. 3. Referencing actress Hedy Lamar, who apparently was a true genius. Read here: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/thank-world-war-ii-era-film-star-your-wi-fi-180971584/ 4. The Kennedy's were not from Boston, but rather Brookline-- both cities are in Massachusetts, so there's that. 5. Of course Sam and Lee Harvey did not attend a college fraternity together, and although Lee was a Marine, I can't prove any of the men mentioned in that sentence were 'gamblers' per se. But that sentence is still incredibly funny and in poetry a good laugh is better than truth. 6. Marilyn and Jack Ruby never met (I don't think...) and Jack Ruby never taught math. Ruby is roughly 15 years older than Monroe. This invention on my part was to offer a conspiracy for them to know one another. For me, writing a 'joke' or writing a 'poem' are closely related. 7. For years, I have heard of movie stars from the 50's and 60's keeping Rhesus and Capuchin monkeys as well as chimpanzees for pets. While there is no evidence Marilyn ever owned a pocket monkey, my belief is she would totally name her monkey 'Tickle.' 8. Placing responsibility of AIDS and offering cheap voodoo jokes on my Haitian family is racist, colonialist thinking and awful. It was funny for a while, but a lot of humor grows out of needing to lighten the weight of awful things. I learned many bad habits from watching the birth of stand up comedy on cable television in the 70's. When I was a kid, I liked Electric Company more than Sesame Street and found Mr Rogers suspicious. So much of my learning came from nightclub comics on cable tv in the 70's, 80's. I did all my best cursing in the 6th grade. 9. Marilyn didn't die. She ascended to heaven in a stolen UFO. Now you know. 10. Not to criticize or make fun of sex work, just to own up and acknowledge all the sexual misappropriation in this piece. I was in my 20's and repressed. Forgive me 11. 'Homosexual tendencies' is a cringey phrase and exactly how a Hollywood gossip magazine from the 50's, 60's might put it. Back then, movie stars, agents and production studios regularly paid magazines and newspapers to keep from revealing the sexuality of some of their stars. Openly queer and interracial relationships were taboo and could end careers back then. Full stop. 12. No evidence that Nicole or Ron knew one another outside of the context of the restaurant where Ron worked and Nicole ate her final meal. This is my invention just to work in the phrase: 'locked in coition'. 13. Besides OJ, the only other suspect was a one-armed man, who to this day has not been found. 14. I was a weird kid, obviously. I read books and watched tv shows about ghosts, hauntings, possessions, UFO's, spontaneous human combustion, etc. I once bought a Scholastic book that contained a chapter detailing the ritual to turn oneself into a werewolf. (Too complicated for me to try) The first time I EVER heard reference of Chupacabra was during the OJ trial, which caused me pause. I'm not sure why. As a poet and writer though, its worth noting 'Chupacabra' was one of the most beautiful and funniest word I'd ever heard in my life.