Rose Mary Boehm, 10/12

Stars and Constellations

I
Orion is hanging upside down.
The ineffectual hunter, powerless.
The Horsehead Nebula throws
a velvet glove at Betelgeuse who
relaxes in a lazy hammock watching
Bellatrix who is forever
flirting with Aldebaran but
never getting anywhere near.

There is a book for boy scouts
explaining how to find the South Pole.
‘Begin with alpha and beta Centauri.
Draw a line between those two until
you extend it to Achernar and advance
to the Southern Cross.’ And onward.

Would that Taurus were conspicuous
overhead. Aldebaran (the hunk), Hinds
(bewitching and delicate), then the Pleiades,
the Seven Sisters:
‘an open star cluster containing middle-aged
hot B-type stars’.

II
Do you remember Luana Anders, pretty and blond,
got her big break in Reform School Girl.
Evelyn Ankers did a stint in the Wolf Man.
Lucille Ball toiled in largely uncredited roles
until the mid 1930s, while I remember
admiring her cousin Suzan Ball in black&white
on my dad’s cigarette pictures. And let’s not
forget Eva Bartok, Zsa Zsa’s little sister.
Exotic Acquanetta, born a Mildred, was raised
in Pennsylvania. Mari Blanchard wasn’t sure
about her birth date (or her name), and it is said
about Joan Bennett that ‘when she divorced
her first husband she turned
to the family profession’.

III
The bone orchard contains
lights, eons ago extinguished,
still glowing in that knowing way
when sex was not as yet a cheap
commodity. Luring, alluring,
the pose, the wink. The pout
perfected. It’s all rotting now.
Soon it’ll be dark in the orchard,
except for the occasional irrlicht
zigzagging across cyberspace.

 

 

A German-born UK national, Rose Mary Boehm lives and works in Peru. Two novels (COMING UP FOR AIR and THE TELLING), as well as a collection of her poems (TANGENTS) have been published in the UK in 2010/2011. Many recent poems have been published in a variety of US poetry reviews.

 

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