I have come to claim Marilyn Monroe’s body

by Judy Grahn

I have come to claim Marilyn Monroe’s body
for the sake of my own
dig it up
hand it over
cram it in this paper sack
hubba hubba hubba

Look at those luscious long brown bones
that wide and crusty pelvis
ha ha
oh she wanted so much to be serious
but she’ll never stop smiling now
has she lost her mind
Marilyn be serious
they’re taking your picture

And they’re taking the pictures of
eight young women in New York City
who murdered themselves for being pretty
by the same method as you
the very next day after you
I have claimed their bodies too
they smile up out of my paper sack
like brainless Cinderellas

the reporters are furious
they are asking me questions
what right does a woman have to Marilyn Monroe’s body?
and what am I doing for lunch?
ha ha they think I mean to eat you
their teeth are lurid and they want to pose me
leaning on the shovel, nude
don’t squint
but when one of the reporters comes too close
I beat him
bust his camera with your long smooth thigh
and with your lovely knuckle bone
I break his eye

Long ago you wanted to write poems
Be serious, Marilyn
I am going to take you in this paper sack
around the world, and
write on it: —the poems of Marilyn Monroe—
Dedicated to all princes,
the male poets who were so sorry to see you go,
before they had a crack at you.

They wept for you
and also they wanted to stuff you while
you still had a little meat left in useful places
but they were too slow.

Now I shall take them my paper sack
and we shall act out a poem together:
“How would you like to see Marilyn Monroe,
in action, smiling, and without her clothes?”
We shall wait long enough to see them make familiar faces
and then I shall beat them with your skull.
hubba. hubba. hubba. hubba. hubba.

Marilyn be serious
today I have come to claim your body for my own

from
Edward the Dyke and Other Poems

Oakland Women’s Press Collective; 1ST edition (1971)

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2 Responses

  1. I can’t seem to be able to reach this page from my smartphone!

  2. […] I’m supposed to write an essay about the gurlesque for the upcoming issue of the Swedish journal 10-tal. One thing I want to talk about is the importance of Sylvia Plath. Of course not the cleaned-up Plath that various scholars have tried to make into a master craftswoman over the past few decades, but the “problematic” Plath who blurs life and art, mythic suicide with art, the sleazy Plath of b-movies and fashion magazines, the Surrealist-influenced Plath, the ekphrastic Plath, the Plath of holocaust kitsch, the Plath beloved by teenage girls, the Plath quoted by Francis Bean Cobain in a recent tweet. In short, a gurlesque Plath. Maybe I’ll talk about Judy Grahn’s amazing homage to that kitschy Plath, “I Have Come To Claim Marilyn Monroe&… […]

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