The School pay to make dreams sort of happen. They don’t promise this will happen, but you can tell a sort of artist resume
—weight, height, eye and hair color black and white
too curvy too short
no loyalty next money makers.
IT. You are not it. But you
hope the way only the young can.
Inside School not the franchise
THE girls walk a runway,
the proper way
Vaseline on the hands overnight
restaurant to learn how to not eat
off the clock.
Yes.
Reversed give up. never join this club. money catwalk pose
chemistry with makeup guy who seems gay but
will make out with you on the dance floor.
—in those days
sex was currency
23 minutes worshiping at the altar of you.
look closely in the alley behind the building
where girls congregate smoke to stave off hunger. billboard Bittersweet—beautiful girls 7 days a week.
We all see this billboard. We all see it, but we all look away.

8 Comments

  1. Nancy Stohlman

    AH. Damn. This was a redaction with all sorts of blank erasure spaces throughout. Now it lines up like a poem in this website space–not intentional. But I’ll go with it for now/time sake.

  2. Robert Vaughan

    Hi Nancy, I’m laughing because I saw your piece before I read your comment above and said out loud…”OH MY GAWD!!! NANCY WROTE A POEM THINGIE!!!”

    We have the same issue with the BG magazine, so when anyone sends us poems with white space, or layout stuff that is odd, I have to get Adam involved. Poor guy.

    In any case, first can I just say when I saw your posts about writing for hours (5?) yesterday, nothing gives me more of a high than to hear that. Also, this piece made me wonder if you and I are cut from the same background cloth? Models, runways, photoshoots. Hair and makeup (yes, that chemistry with the makeup guy, etc.) Which is to say, I love it all. And I am certain your layout will add all THIS AND MORE, MORE, MORE!!!

  3. Meg Tuite

    Hi Nancy,
    “Vaseline on the hands overnight
    restaurant to learn how to not eat
    off the clock.”
    “money catwalk pose”
    “23 minutes worshiping at the altar of you.”
    And so love that last line! Maybe pick out the beauties in this and add to it. I LOVE IT! LOVE!!!

  4. John Steines

    Mmmm Nancy. I love it. I don’t expect this ending: ‘…beautiful girls 7 days a week.
    We all see this billboard. We all see it, but we all look away.’ but it is so appropriate to what you’ve left in, whatever it was in toto. Oh, the way we’ve allowed society to be constructed into, then the roles we feel we need to play. I think this such a common experience in reality, that time/moment when one finds oneself in the absurd and wonders -> what is this cauldron of mud I’m in, & how did I let myself get here, when in reality, they were just sailing along with the expectation. It looks like it would read well in either (any) form. Cheers.

  5. Chelsea Stickle

    “You are not it. But you
    hope the way only the young can.”

    This poem is bittersweet just like the title. You paint a picture that makes my heart ache.

  6. David O'Connor

    Nancy, this really captures that seedy world that so seduces the young. The urge to, want to, to… be in the limelight and all that comes with it… wish the blank/erasure spaces came through, is it worth naming the source text?

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