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Guest Poet Audrey Eloranta

Life on the Glossy Page

You wish that shrimp
seeing Harper's Bazaar in your hands
would ask "are you in this issue?"
If he asked me, I'd lie "Hell no!"
Page 58-that bamboo bar scene--
I'm alone on a high stool, legs raking
out of my slit sarong,
hearing your daydreams.
You'd call me
Girl Whose Picture
In Skimpy Clothes
Gets Plastered All Over
The Known Universe To Sell
Pantyhose And Beer.
And to confirm for women everywhere
the secret certainty of their
shameful flab and tiny boobs.
My name is Astrid.
No one calls me a sex goddess.
More likely
"the Norwegian stick insect from Minnesota."
I hate that place.
They never ask "are you in this issue."
Maybe "My studio's making a picture
about Jane Fonda's trip to Vietnam.
You look a lot like Jane
when she was young."
I give them my agent's card.
That's not what they want.
Once I was in a movie.
As Viking Queen,
I patiently ruled the homeland
while the King and his men sacked Wales.
Three weeks on the set
became two seconds
in the final cut.
Should have been a Welsh wench
hauled off in bondage.
In Rome, at the Baths of Caracalla,
six hours at a stretch I strolled
on crumbling ramps and steps
in high heels. The pain
in my toes shot up to my thighs.
Right there, on the spot
where Nero tortured his women,
I tripped, messed up my leg,
next thing you know
I can't do miniskirts for two months
and lost my Dior contract.
My woman-to woman advice? Be glad
your each and every haircut
does not have to be a career move.

July, 2001

Audrey Eloranta's Questions:

1. Is it clear enough, early enough in the poem, who the "you" and "I" stand for? Is it clear in other respects?

2. Does the poem hang together well enough, or does it seem too fragmented or awkwardly segued from one episode to the next?

3. Is the tone appropriate and maintained consistently?

4. Are there parts or lines you'd recommend deleting or revising?

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