Archives for posts with tag: Actors

Holly Golightly Wears a Mask
by Tricia Marcella Cimera

Behind a mask
our faces go sad,
we Holly Golightlys
of the world.
The mean reds
have got us bad
but no one knows –
and Tiffany’s
is cold and closed.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: The mean reds were what Truman Capote’s immortal literary creation Holly Golightly felt when she was afraid, but going to Tiffany’s always comforted her (“…nothing very bad could happen to you there…”).   What would she do today?  I find it hard for my face not to go sad behind my mask.

PHOTO: Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961).  The film was based on Truman Capote’s 1958 novella of the same name.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Tricia Marcella Cimera is a Midwestern poet with a worldview. Recently her micro-chapbook called GO SLOW, LEONARD COHEN was released through the Origami Poems Project, with plum poem receiving a Pushcart Prize nomination.  Tricia lives with her husband and family of animals in Illinois, in a town called St. Charles, by a river named Fox, with a Poetry Box in her front yard.

Downey versus Downey
by Cullen Downey

I know that you have no knowledge of my existence
In the world we share at a distance
Robert Downey Jr hero, lawyer, detective, prince, and millionaire
And a girl named Cullen with a last name we share.

I have convinced friends that we are related
But gullible and naïve they were to believe such a lie
Now I do not tell that lie since you went to jail
Since you went there I was upset, I wanted to see what happened to you      and Watson.

Physically we are opposites in age, size, eye color, and hair color
You brown eyes and hair, I blue eyes and blonde hair
I can see the resemblance with my family and you
My aunts are mostly brown eyed and hair the same as yours

I hope to see you in a third movie of Sherlock Holmes
And you and Watson are reunited once and for all
In real life I hope you do well even though you had your issues
Sharing a last name with you I feel connected but I do think my last name      will be more famous than

PHOTO: Robert Downey Jr. as the title character in Sherlock Holmes (2009).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: The creative process in writing this poem was to express my thoughts when someone asks if I am related to Robert Downey Jr.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Cullen Downey is passionate about art. She is 17 years old and is a junior at George Walton Academy. She participates in cross country, track, AP Art, and gavel club through the school. Outside of school she volunteers for Team Up, a mentoring program to help underprivileged kids in Monroe. She loves reading novels and newspapers, and she also loves writing. She also loves wearing different, crazy socks to bring a little laughter in life.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: This photo was taken before a Christmas Party that turned into a surprise Retirement Party for a family friend.

Me as Patrick Swayze
by Patrick Lee Marshall

Dirty Dancing,
ready in a heartbeat
to sing, move, teach.
Music taking you
places you didn’t
know you could go.

My song and dance;
cleaning messes
made by shoppers
during the day,
dragging their feet
across the floor,
spilling their drinks,
throwing their trash,
in rhythm to music
from ceiling speakers.

I practice with a mop,
moving dirt.
He moves Jennifer Grey.
There is something wrong
with my picture.

PHOTO: Patrick Swayze in a scene from Dirty Dancing (1987).


NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I grew up singing in church. I tried to dance; that’s the most I can say about that subject. However, I was not bashful. I worked at a grocery store in Irving, Texas in the early sixties. We were cleaning the store one night and switched the sound system to a local pop station. I did not realize a friend took a picture until he gave it to me later. I was singing and dancing with a mop for a partner, standing on the bucket. Years later, I saw Dirty Dancing and was delighted by dance moves in the movie. When the SAME NAME Series was announced, I knew I had to find that picture and write something.

PHOTO: Taken in 1962 at Hutch’s Grocery Store, Irving, Texas.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Patrick Lee Marshall is a member of the Denton Poets’ Assembly, Poetry Society of Texas, and the National Federation of State Poetry Societies. His poetry has appeared in over 20 publications and anthologies, including Encore: Prize Poems of the NFSPS, A Galaxy of Verse, Blue Hole Magazine, Merging Visions (Collections II, III and IV), Inkwell Echoes, Hunger for Peace, and Visions. He lives in Keller, Texas, with his wife Andrea and three cats.


Dear Katharine Hepburn…
by Cath Bore

There was a girl called Joan in my class at school. It seemed to me that someone with a name like Joan belonged in a black and white movie on a rainy midweek afternoon, not 1980s Britain with its manmade fabrics, bright pop music, and copies of Jackie magazine. Apparently Joan’s mum and dad wanted her to be called Joanne but her gran didn’t approve, and pushed for the short old fashioned name instead.

As a kid I could never work out why your name was Katharine, and not Catherine like mine. You had a mighty kicking K, my curvy C seemed dull and bland in comparison. I wanted our names to be the same. It bothered me no end that they weren’t, but in the end I decided my name was like that because my parents probably didn’t know how to spell it properly like yours did. Or perhaps my grandmother was a bit like Joan’s.

Joan got a lot of stick in school for having the same name as an old lady, but then again so did I, having glasses as thick as Murray Mints, and the rest. We notice our differences so much when we’re growing up. It’s all so intense.

Joan grew up to be a happy woman and I managed the same, eventually. When I got older I realised there were lots of ways of spelling the same name, and got okay about you and I and our mismatched letters. Now, I think your name is more beautiful than ever and mine is exactly like it, but in its very own way.


PHOTO: Actress Katharine Hepburn (1907-2003).


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Cath Bore is a writer based in Liverpool U.K., currently writing a novel and lots of flash fiction. Her website is

by Carol A. Stephen

Perhaps I laugh a little louder
when I watch Carol Burnett
traipse down a staircase, shoulders broadened
by green velvet drapes as she mocks Scarlett O’Hara’s antebellum belle.

I might find myself mugging in my mirror,
making moues, tilting head,
ready for my closeup, Mr. DeMille!
It’s what she said, as she sidled her Swanson flapper
down another flight of stairs.

But I never tie my hair up in bandanas like the 40s,
or slop around in workboots with a bucket
and a mop. And when her show’s over,
and it’s time for Carol to sing,
I can only listen; I can’t carry a tune. Ironic
when the name we share in French means joyous song.

PHOTO: Actress/comedian Carol Burnett.

Carol A. Stephen

Carol A. Stephen
is a Canadian poet. Her poetry has appeared in Bywords Quarterly Journal and two Tree Press/phaphours press collaborative chapbooks. You can also find Carol’s poems on-line at The Light Ekphrastic and in videos at Twice shortlisted,   in 2012 Carol won third place in Canadian Authors Association National Capital Writing Contest. She’s the author of three chapbooks, Above the Hum of Yellow Jackets, Architectural Variations, and Ink Dogs in my Shoes (2014), as well as a new collaborative chapbook with JC Sulzenko, titled Breathing Mutable Air (2015). Visit her at

lee majors
Gentlemen, we can rebuild her
by Lee Parpart

Like most American kids I thrilled to the
suave heroics of Lee Majors’ primetime astronaut
“A man barely alive” when he crashed to earth
rebuilt in cyborg form to rescue whole cities and
fend off Sasquatch foes.

Hunched in prayer on our red shag carpet
my heart beat to the staccato synth motif
that announced Steve Austin’s every
jump and roll with all the subtlety of a
cartoon “Kapow!”

No one had the husky former football star in mind
when I was born in ’65.

Dad wanted a boy and a nautical reference
(a nod to smooth sailing, a possible
edge on the knockabout course)
whereas Mom, nascent 60s feminist,
enjoyed the name’s unisex appeal.

I was the one who assigned that Lee
a place in my genealogy.

And yet a six-million-dollar question hovered over
this unlikely attachment:
Did I want to date Lee Majors or be him?
At twelve-and-a-half it was hard to tell.

In 1977 when his star was brightest
I remember floating down Main Street in Andover, Mass.
femaleness trailing behind me like a vapor
replaced by a strutting sense of my own importance
a borrowed bionics of boy flesh and boy bone

Head crowded with robot dreams
I replayed paternal plotlines and
savoured the frisson of being
Better. Stronger. Faster.
than the awkward girl I was.

Eventually, of course, I lowered my guard
and changed the channel. Austin bounded off
screen and both Lees fell into a
shallow cryogenic sleep.

But here’s the thing: I must have stolen a few
bits of extra equipment that day and
stashed them around the genie bottle or
blinked them under the bed.

Because he is clearly still in there
patchwork version of a silly 70s icon
connecting me to my own circuitry
spurring me to run and jump
disarm opponents and
dance without care.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This wonderful prompt got me thinking about the links between my trashy TV watching habits in the 70s and my experience of gender. I had no idea until I finished this poem how intricately connected my love of the Six Million Dollar Man was to my flirtation with masculine subjectivity in my teens and beyond. At around the same time I discovered a passion for Steve Austin, I also sprouted a kind of inner boy, separate from the tomboy that had animated me throughout grade school. I had just moved back to the U.S. after three years in Africa with my PhD student mother, and the feminist theory she was talking about at home seemed to trickle into my media consumption, suspending me between cyborg stories and tales of bottled genies and housebound witches. Although I eventually migrated over to Sabrina and Genie, this poem was more than a surface exercise and got me wondering about the role played by my non-namesake, Lee Majors, in depositing a few bits of foreign wiring throughout my evolving DNA.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lee Parpart is a Toronto-based poet and media studies writer. Her essays and articles on Canadian, American, and Irish cinema and television and visual art have appeared in POV, Take One, Modern Fuel, C Magazine, Canadian Art, The Journal of Canadian Film Studies, Short Film Studies, North of Everything, Athena’s Daughters, Gendering the Nation, Masculinity: Bodies, Movies, Culture, Essays on Canadian Writing and The Gendered Screen, among other publications. She has taught film studies at the University of Toronto and York University, served as a visual arts and video columnist for two major Canadian dailies, and recently returned to a daily poetry writing practice that fell away amid teaching and childrearing. Her older poems appeared in the tiny, non-digitized literary magazine Hegira, and her newer work is waiting to move out of its cramped Mac folder and into the world.

PHOTO: Lee Parpart, 2015, Toronto.

vlake12 2
by Veronica Hosking

Blonde hair swept over
one eye, alluring vision
Veronica Lake

PHOTO: Actress Veronica Lake (1922-1973).

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: I was born in 1973, the decade Jennifer was a popular name for girls. Throughout my childhood, I became friends with so many Jennifers my family started to number them. I knew eight. I never met another Veronica which is why I was fascinated by Veronica Lake. She was the only real person I heard of who shared my name. But after writing this poem, I found out Veronica wasn’t her given name. Oh well, I have a picture of me sitting by her star in Hollywood.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Veronica Hosking is a wife, mother, and poet. She lives in the desert southwest with her husband and two daughters. Her family and day job, cleaning the house, serve as inspiration for most of her poetry. She was the poetry editor for MaMaZina magazine 2006-2011.  “Spikier Spongier” appeared in Stone Crowns magazine, November 2013. “Desperate Poet” was posted on the Narrator International website and reprinted in Poetry Nook. She has had several poems published by Silver Birch Press. Follow her poetry blog at

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: May 2013 me sitting next to Veronica Lake’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

by Clifton Snider

Growing up,
I hated my first name.
Who else was named Clifton?
It was a name apart, a name
for someone like me,
(football or baseball),
the boy who played violin,
an instrument girls excelled on,
a name confused with
“Clifford,” clumsy
with its double f’s,
a name I hated worse than my own.

In high school I worked
as bus boy at
Clifton’s Cafeteria,
a reason to like my name.
I’d whip out my
driver’s license to prove
to customers who I was.

I discovered Clifton Webb
in vintage movies on TV.
Perfect hair & mustache,
always proper, exquisite
suit & tie, a gentleman I assumed
was British with his eloquent
diction, covertly gay,
of course, as was I at the time,
a hero going down on the Titanic,
a comfort to his young son
he’d hitherto been estranged from,
down but not defeated —
a role model for a young queer
who did not yet own
his own exquisite self.

PHOTOS: (Left) Actor Clifton Webb, 1940s; (right) the author.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: “Clifton” was written expressly for the Silver Birch Press SAME NAME project. The prompt gave me an opportunity to reflect on why I had disliked my first name and how and why I came to embrace it. Much of that process came through my early identification with the characters Clifton Webb played on screen in a few movies I’d seen on TV. I suppose much of this was intuitive, and I make it explicit in the poem. The process of coming to terms with my name had much to do with my accepting myself for who I am. Clifton Webb helped in that process though, of course, it was far more complicated than just my identification with him as a fellow gay man.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Clifton Snider is the internationally celebrated author of 10 books of poetry, including Moonman: New and Selected Poems, and four novels: Loud Whisper, Bare Roots, Wrestling with Angels: A Tale of Two Brothers, and The Plymouth Papers. He has published hundreds of poems, fiction, reviews, and scholarly articles utilizing Jungian and Queer Theories. He pioneered gay and lesbian literary studies at California State University, Long Beach. His work has been translated into Arabic, French, Russian, and Spanish.

jc 1950
Me and Joan Crawford
by Joan Colby

It wasn’t her birth name. The studio
Thought Joan more modern than Lucille.
An era of modernity: bobbed hair,
Cigarettes, speakeasies. Father
Loved her Charleston in “Our Dancing Daughters”
Her rolled stockings, red lips.
I hope he wished me the wildness
To dance on tables in a smoky lounge.
Not the later padded shoulders
Of a dominatrix who whipped
Her kids with wire coat hangers
And stared big-eyed in horror flicks.

PHOTO: Actress Joan Crawford, around 1950.

joan c

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Joan Colby has published widely in journals such as Poetry, Atlanta Review, South Dakota Review,etc. Awards include two Illinois Arts Council Literary Awards, an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Literature. She has published 16 books including Selected Poems from FutureCycle Press which received the 2013 FutureCycle Prize and Ribcage from Glass Lyre Press which has been awarded the 2015 Kithara Book Prize.Colby is also a senior editor of FutureCycle Press and an associate editor of Kentucky Review.

by Jennifer Lagier

Jennifer Jones exuded piety,
visited a secret, sacred grotto,
innocently trysted with a higher power,
accepted prophetic messages
in the Song of Bernadette.

Despite decades of imposed Catholicism,
I never felt the gentle hand of god,
received angelic direction or was blessed
by preferment, descending grace.

Her role in Love Is a Many Splendored Thing,
resulted in award nominations.
Illicit passion ended with a broken heart,
bliss aborted, aftermath bittersweet.

Like my namesake,
I burned through marriages,
squandered opportunities,
watched myself wither
as empty years passed.

PHOTO: Jennifer Jones as Bernadette Soubirous in The Song of Bernadette (1943).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I’ve been intrigued by Jennifer Jones since seeing her in the two movies referenced in my poem. This submission call gave me an excuse to research her life.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jennifer Lagier has published 10 books of poetry and internationally in a variety of literary magazines and anthologies. Her latest book, Where We Grew Upwas just issued by FutureCycle Press. She taught with California Poets in the Schools, co-edits the Homestead Review,maintains web sites for Homestead Review, Monterey Poetry Review, Ping Pong Literary Journal, misfitmagazine and helps coordinate monthly Monterey Bay Poetry Consortium Second Sunday readings. Visit her at

AUTHOR PHOTO: Jennifer Lagier and her dog, Stanley, in Cambria California. Taken by Oliver Fellguth.