A Louis B. Woman

In a battered boxhttp://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photo-beautiful-fashion-woman-her-boudoir-image27643745
found at an estate sale
in the Hollywood hills,
a picture of a starlet—

the Louis B. Mayer
kind of woman

—lounging in her pink chemise.

A teardrop-shaped diamond
suspended from a thin chain
hangs around her ivory-colored neck,
the one she wore on Saturday nights
when she sat listening to Patty Page
singing With My Eyes Wide Open, I’m Dreaming
playing on a Magnavox stereo console.
Harvey’s Bristol Cream flowed
from bottle to glass ‘till
the screen she lived her life
upon, looped ‘round, and round—

celluloid on the projector
playing in the back lot
were Goldwin, Cecil, and Louis B.,
smoking stogies, drinking gin from cut glass
dividing up the dames, doling out hope
damning some to hell, conspiring,
shaping the American dream

—‘till it came tumbling down all ‘round

her creamy white calves once
caressed by Fisher, Gable, even Olivier
between and after Miss Vivian Leigh,
the men she used, the women she discarded,
memories she can’t out run, pain she can’t numb
reminiscing about her yesterday loves
in a hand-written-tell-all memoir—

I laugh aloud,
tears no longer fall
and leave stains
on these clean
sheets of Egyptian
cotton where you
and I once laid,
the sun sets
the moon rises
the clouds float by
the birds sing
I can’t help it
my heart cries
cause I adore you
my yesterday love,

At the bottom of the box
is her diary more
tattered than
her life
a chronicle of a Louie B. girl
the heartaches
the rise to the top,
her spiral down
and the void in between
amidst the lines
the lovers she lost on the way
and the one she never could leave behind.
The diamond necklace bookmarks
the last entry written the night she took her life—


An interlude…


I was tagged by Writer Beverly to list five of my favorite books, and Deborah of Living on the Edge, to share what inspires me.  I had grand intentions but was taken with the prompts Hollywood and Romance and never got around to finishing my post on the fab five. I haven’t even started the post on inspiration.  Both are coming soon. The writer in me was all dreamy eyed this week, living yester-year in the tradition of old Hollywood glamour.

It wasn’t intended. I was almost finished with my fab five when I stumbled upon a line I had written in an essay last fall…

If my life were glitzy like a Hollywood production set, in a battered box I’d find a picture of a starlet—the Louis B. Mayer kind of woman—lounging in her pink chemise with a teardrop-shaped diamond suspended from a thin chain hung around her neck…

Once my eyes traveled over those words, the two writing prompts I had seen at the start of my week connected and that was it, my grand intentions went out the window.

Are you ever rolled over by flights of fancy and let your intentions flit out the open window?

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I’m a writer and hoarder of one-size-fits-all panty hose. Until the hose fits over my bum, I write to provide an alternative view on writing and perfection.

21 thoughts on “A Louis B. Woman

  1. Oh, yes, all the time! I will sit down with one idea and “BOOM”! The next thing I know, I’m sailing off on another tangent completely. The result, for me, has never been disappointing.
    Absolutely loved your poem, Brenda! I know I’ve said it before, but it is worth repeating – you are one awesome writer!!!
    Blessings to you!
    Martha Orlando recently posted….It Says It All, Doesn’t It?My Profile

    • Martha, isn’t the strangest thing when we go left but end up somewhere else entirely? I can’t complain, I had fun writing this one. I think it needs a bit of work, but so far it’s coming along nicely.

  2. Brenda, this is really something amazing! It’s funny because Louie B. Mayer is someone very familiar to me. My mother was in Hollywood during his heyday. She was a dancer and performed in about 20 of the old musicals. Mom said that Louis B used to have all the dancers (average age 18) up to his house for parties. She went on a lot of occasions along with the other girls from the chorus line. He loved having all the young pretties in Hollywood at his affairs. Many of the were dumb kids right off the farm. Still, there was less “action” than one might imagine. It was all about the dream.

    • Linda – now that’s a story. My dad adored theater, movies, music, all of it, as such, it influenced who I was. Seriously, who my age has any idea who Eddie Fisher was….? I can still get lost in a movie. On Christmas morning, after present opening and coffee, the kids and I watched Spencer Tracy movies. Yeah, I’m passing along the same love of Hollywood my dad gave to me, to my own kiddies. They love it as much as I do.

  3. Wow. Sometimes when I read your work, I’m certain I was born in the wrong place and time – I want to be in *that* moment – the one you’re writing about. That’s how powerful a writer you are. Beautiful! As for intentions being thrown out the open window … well .. that’s a given :)
    Astra recently posted….Mascot ConfidentialMy Profile

  4. What a fun trip this piece was – with a twist I didn’t expect at the end. Throw my best intentions out the window and go with wherever the muse seems to want to tease me toward – absolutely. Do it all the time. I used to think I was undisciplined, but have now come to view it as trust.
    Barbara recently posted….and so it begins!My Profile

  5. I’ve been kidnapped by an idea more than once or twice.

    Love this piece, and it’s funny, I have been working on a post on Ava Gardner for my May Slut of the Month series. She was very much a Louis B. Mayer girl, signed for her beauty and worked like a horse. On screen, very glamorous, but behind the scenes, life wasn’t as easy for a tobacco farmer’s daughter from North Carolina.

    I have never tried Harvey’s Bristol Cream, but need to add that to my Bucket List. Sipped while wearing a pink peignoir and fluffy slippers.
    Beverly Diehl recently posted….Nobody Propositions My Feet AnymoreMy Profile

  6. Awesome poem. I love this time period. I just wrote about imagining another decade and how I’d like to visit the mid-40’s and dance the night away to the sounds of the Big Bands. (Thanks for your comment, btw!) Your poem is wonderfully evocative. And yes, flights of fancy overtake me. So many prompts, so little time!
    steph recently posted….Rhythm Sweet and HotMy Profile

  7. There really is something about you and the romanticism of Old Hollywood, B., and I love what you’ve written here. Pouring out consciously and sub-consciously. Flights of fancy … for sure, just when I don’t notice it.
    Claudine G. recently posted….A Guest at Anne’sMy Profile

  8. Brenda, I love the glamour of the Louis B. days. Some of my favorites include Bette Davis, Katharine Hepburn, Myrna Loy, Susan Hayward, Priscilla Lane, Irene Dunne, Merle Oberon, Ginger Rogers, and on and on. They sure don’t make them like they used to!
    monicastangledweb recently posted….First LoveMy Profile

  9. Whoa – I’m skidding to a stop as I exit your post. Your words completely captured the feel of those days and drew me right back into moments of many fantasies I had as a child watching all the Mayer movies with my parents and reading movie star magazines. Harvey’s Bristol Cream was my mother’s favourite! I haven’t thought about that in years. Thanks for the memories!
    Patricia Sands recently posted….Celebrate Spring right here!My Profile

    • Thanks, Patricia. I’m not from that era but my dad loved movies of that time period, which he passed along to me. I spent much of my youth thinking that was all there was, and to some extent it was, for me anyway.

    • Edith – I try not to pressure myself with my writing and adhere to a strict commitment. I’ve found if I just sit down everyday without beating myself up about it, the writing does it’s own thing. It’s less of a chore this way. Thank you for you words about the poem. I am not a poet by any stretch of the imagination, but I do love playing with the notion.

  10. Fragments of my best intentions are scattered everywhere, a pile of half finished now abandoned unfolded clean laundry, 8 out of 10 windows cleaned (the last 2 were in full sun), geraniums planted but 2 (no pots left), a new story half written, emails not sent, telephone calls missed with daylight savings confusing everything down under, worst of all, I forgot to turn up to one of my lessons today, convinced my day was over!

    Such good intentions I had, instead I sit here now reading a 2 page summary sheet sent in the post by my step-mother-in-law entitled MIC Mild Cognitive Impairment, it used to be that deterioration of memory and other cognitive functions was normal with ageing and this document implies that some people experience impairment greater than that usually experienced with ageing. I know it is not intended about me, but today, I can relate. :)
    Claire ‘Word by Word’ recently posted….IgnoranceMy Profile

    • Claire – I feel this way everyday, I start with a list of things, which really consists of what I want to accomplish writing. I work hard to get through it, but I’m not always on schedule. It’s crazy sometimes, this passion for writing.

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