Marilyn Monroe’s Cats
They were all male,
castrated, overly protective,
crouching snarky as eunuchs
guarding the harem.
Named for each of her favorite husbands,
[“For I knew in my depths that I wanted to disarm myself before the sources of my art, which were not in wife alone nor in family alone but, again, in the sensuousness of a female blessing, something, it seemed, not quite of this world. In some diminished sense it was sexual hunger, but one that had much to do with truthfulness to myself and my nature and even, by extension, to the people who came to my plays. . . . Even after only those few hours with Marilyn, she had taken on an immanence in my imagination, the vitality of a force one does not understand but that seems on the verge of lighting up a vast surrounding plain of darkness..” –Arthur Miller]
rescued from alley-fights,
their purrs were death rattles
with smiles as blond as peroxide.
None had been de-clawed,
parading dead rats in their jaws
to plop at the feet of lecherous
photographers and film producers.
They were spoiling for a fight
not even pit bulls would have survived.
Marilyn hid in a closet, hoping to exorcise
the ghost of her dead, mad mother.
[Disposable Poem January 15, 2015]
POSTED BY ROBERTA NORTHINGTON: In 1955, Ms. Monroe persuaded the owner of the Mocambo to hire Ella Fitzgerald (the Mocambo did not book Black artists). Ms. Fitzgerald on Ms. Monroe to Ms. magazine in 1972: “I owe Marilyn Monroe a real debt…it was because of her that I played the Mocambo, a very popular nightclub in the ’50s. She personally called the owner of the Mocambo, and told him she wanted me booked immediately, and if he would do it, she would take a front table every night. She told him – and it was true, due to Marilyn’s superstar status – that the press would go wild. The owner said yes, and Marilyn was there, front table, every night. The press went overboard. After that, I never had to play a small jazz club again. She was an unusual woman – a little ahead of her times. And she didn’t know it.”