It’s been more than a week since I posted the first group of Barbie poems from the last poetry jam. It’s the usual reasons — time, busy at work, lots of stuff going on.
Here is the second group of poems — seven in all. Tattoos, hair, education, the Dream House as Camelot — we’re covering it all and there are more poems to come.
The Barbie Poems 2
By @mdgoodyear, @papagoodyear, @llbarkat, @memoriaarts, @arestlessheart, @lauraboggess, @cascheller, @mattpriour, @PoemsPrayers, @KathleenOverby, @togetherforgood, @gyoung9751, @mmerubies, @jamesrls, @doallas, @Dancinbutterfly, @moondustwriter, @mxings, @Jezamama, @MarisaLopezzz, and @TchrEric; cameo appearances by @hiscrivener and @duane_scott; edited by @gyoung9751.
I have just been connected to
Barbiespeak, so begins a narrative
long in the making. She wore Dior.
Dior? Honey, I never saw the like.
She had her pretty cars, her fancy
heels, her way of making everyone
fall into her lifestyle, vicarious living
through high stepping shoes and chest.
She could always wear the boldest
shades and get away with it.
She wore sheets of pink, the shade of
cotton candy. But why no poet Barbie?
No writer Barbie? Novelist Barbie? And
the Journalist Barbie, carries a microphone,
not a pen and paper. Reporter Barbie in a
pink suit. Too bubblegum for reality.
Enough black lace to suggest sex. Seriously?
He wonders if Barbie’s makeup ever ran.
It still bothers me to see so many blond
Barbie dolls. Makes me feel inferior, with
my black hair and freckles. Stupid Barbie.
But I thought it was Barbies at communion
in communion, with communion, communing.
Susan used to wear Barbie doll heads on her
bookbag. She colored on them, stuck pins in
them, hung them off of zippers. We thought it
was trademarked, this fall. But apparently, it
came to us all, lacked communion, needed grace.
If I had a daughter I would buy her black and
Asian dolls, redheads and little girl dolls from
India. Every little girl had a Barbie except
the one I love. They still commune in my girl’s
Barbie basket, so many beautiful plastic clones.
Barbie, girl, what is up with the blue eye shadow?
Go to CVS. Try out some Cover Girl.
Barbie, hon, maybe you won’t be so dumb
if you are anything but blonde.
I feel naked without a trademark.
Barbie as Tattoo Artist
For her plunge into the lava pit
of sister-imagination, I allowed her to
tattoo her trade on my arm with
wavy green ink. I thought i lost my head,
but it was just an illusion. She deserved
the pit for her all encompassing-ness. She
was supposed to, cover, enjoinder, remind
us of me and you. Bath water washes us
both clean, yet putting on a bra and
panties, I still see Barbie in the mirror and
know I am not her.
It Wasn’t Just the Kennedys
In 1964 and 1955, Barbie “wore”
Guinevere and Ken “donned” King Arthur.
Was the Dream House called Camelot? Did
it have turrets and moats and walls and a
drawbridge? And who inserted Excalibur
back into the stone?
CNN once reported that Barbie and Ken
called it quits. Did she fall for Lancelot,
or did she enter the convent?
Barbie and the Simple Life
I wanted the simple life she had; money
never seemed to stop her. A closet full of
clothes and nothing to wear. I never
understood how such small hands could
change her from black cocktail to the vet
outfit and back again.
I loved her boa but too small for me,
a boa too small, a boa too far, a boa
too constricting. I wonder what they would
consider avant-garde now?
I’m having Barbie flashbacks.
Mom Did Barbie’s Hair
We had a Barbie head
to play beautician on. Do they
even call them beauticians anymore?
her face was stained with eye shadow.
I wanted Mom to sit with me and brush
Barbie’s hair. She did, once. My mother
had no time for Barbie, no time for stories
no time for pretend. We had a very clean
house. I bet I was still there, begging her to
play with Barbie, while she lay in bed
recuperating from an awful miscarriage
when I was 5. Barbie’s hair came out so we
taped it back on – sorry Barbie. That was
Beach Barbie, the perfect tan, the perfect smile,
Barbie, what kind of grades did
you get in school? Did you ever go
to class? You learned to speak
six sentences, only six; to think
six thoughts, only six.
Sentence 1: In the beginning we were
made in China.
Sentence 2: We could eat of any profession,
but of the glass ceiling we could not eat.
Sentence 3: O where o where has my fall
fashion wardrobe gone? O where o where
can it be?
Sentence 4: Love the Lord your God with
your heart, mind, soul, and strength. And
love the Barbies as yourself.
Sentence 5: Math is hard.
Sentence 6: Anything worth doing is hard.
She hid nothing; Barbie was empty. Ask the
science class who dissected her. In science
class no one objected to the Barbie
dissection unit. We just pinned her to the
trays and chopped away. Yet my Barbies were
in perfect shape, never dissected, wholly
clothed, in a box saved by my mom, and
passed on to my girls. I could dazzle my fans if
I could wear pink in the sandbox, look sexy and
Clean, speak more than six sentences.
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- Reconsidering History: Natasha Trethewey and “Native Guard” - May 4, 2021
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