Hollywood Magdalenes

                    Act I

Trojan whores, cracked acid allure
peeling like shattered vocal acrylic
purr poured over iced scars
mourning blurred mornings performing perfumings
of canopic jars pulling pulverized

prop hearts from prosthetic linoleum
floors, picking apart plastic shards
of hurtful lovelorn words molten
flat, minor chords, melted beyond
repair from walls whispers papered

over before their fall, dissonant
tell-all/tell-tale johns tattled off
by winking stars wanting nothing
anymore, menacing slattern seamstresses of
hot messes more contented to

snicker than pout, parvenu ingénue
paramours plotting no more, no
sir, not since dissolving from
dénouement, playing screens fading to
black anamorphic char these girls

walk over, scorch across undeterred,
softer after going for it
so hard, sought by suckers
they ignore, untying endings testing
unsociable, dis​so​cia​tive mores, poorly-scored operatic

                    Act II

challenges Edenic apples cored, bitten
analogue orchestral temptress torch song
origins for electric pervert converts
digitally restored, from wrinkles twinkling
bends of bows twisting Technicolor

prose into dialogue only those
whose lips rust red know
are tomorrows borrowed for those
of us these Hollywood Magdalenes
adore, vixens unscripted who prefer

gentlemen whose preference for bedfellows
mirrors their own, men whom
other men fall upon knees
to swallow whole, hags whose
fags come home through revolving

doors, antelope-eyed and bounding zoetrope
portholes to waterboard worship silence
honours with prayers better seen
than heard, expectations of failure
tortured by successes these girls

ensure, such is the celluloid
sisterhood we weirdos with silver
screen dreams afford each other
when cellophane wrapping shooting one
another glances telling of pain

only together we get, since
we bleed the same vernacular,
this relic of an age
only the unsaintly untainted by
any worry of what may

come from what they say
can ever deign to translate,
or pray to know its
weight being this reprobate carries,
faith misplaced in ashen traitors

by our stage names led
astray, smoking hot makers of
myth cigarettes to lips our
critics lift as if swayed
by this gift of these

women to play them were
some offense less criminal than
offensive to the way those
too tame to tempt the
unsafe live, unafraid as they

are to give what of
themselves these gals permit strangers
to glimpse, what tangle of
tingling webbed fingertips takes and
strangles from within the souls

                    Act III

of those heaven sent these
vixens to weaken with the
weapon of their secret they
let us possess, trusting not
in success but art’s process

which never ends and always
profits we who believe in
these Selves the imperfections of
which we divest whenever we
express this fondness of ours

we share with femmes fatales
for killing off men who
fail to extend their usefulness
as minor characters in this
bedside, B-picture gospel this tale

fills with hidden twists knives
of quills rust to tell,
those fools who rush in
as lust swallows flesh its
promise swells, penitent angels whose

fatal flaw is to mellow
when limelight’s glow grows too
fond of those beauts whose
jewels brute love such as
ours thaws, Babylon’s daughters paused.