Tabloid Spotlight on the Hollywood Starlet

As if sadness is a heroine, as if sadness
requires polaroid sunglasses to cool down
all-white glare, as if sadness demands
a shopping opportunity on Robertson Boulevard,

the headline says she was caught candid
on the boutique street, shopping bag dangling.
Without her newborn, her legs, lifted in heels, line up
to stretch her thighs to thin, tan advantage.

Blonde hair feathered like a sleek Sussex hen,
head bowed, her eyes hidden in wrap-arounds
are maybe blue, brown, possibly red. Her agent outed
her baby’s wailing, her post-partum sadness,

a lonely fight to keep herself upright, walking.
The caption says her next role is a mermaid,
daylighted under water, shimmering, a breathing
tube, treading water in flukes of green scales,

trying to save the baby of a gray whale
tangled in tossed-off fish net, ribboned in kelp.


[image credit: The Reject by Anja Niemi]

This poem also appears in Tricia Knoll’s Ocean’s Laughter (Aldrich Press, 2016), a book of lyric and eco-poetry about Manzanita, Oregon. Available at

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