Odes to Celebrities by Paul & Bob
BASILISK IN HOLLYWOOD
Imagine a legendary laundress
who washed gingham dresses
into strapless silks.
Lucille Le Seur a Chicago hoofer
became a 20’s flapper
rivaling Clara Bow.
Her breaths and stares weakened
the knees of celluloid moguls.
The jazz baby flung
her debutante soul
onto beds of devilish MGM bosses.
After being promised the role of Camille,
which instead went to Greta,
they delegated her to Sadie Thompson
in Rain– a box office flop.
When she spiked directors with her heels,
she was “box-office poison.”
Predatory men loathed her,
but packaged her mass appeal, providing
their limos, mansions, and Tahiti cruises.
Mink, murder, mayhem & melodrama
spirited her from 30’s to the 50’s.
She was always a bit obvious,
a shade vulgar, a bitch goddess
with a dagger stashed in her purse,
her sharp lips forever slashing.
In jet-black ankle-strapped heels,
Joan clacked up many silver stairs.
This once Charleston-dancer finally
waltzed into arms of a Pepsi billionaire.
After his death, she sat at the head
of his round table, infinite floors up,
with a “No one fucks with” glare.
A chameleon in drag– a basilisk,
King Arthur in petticoats.
She died of a severed heart
with a broken Pepsi bottle in one hand,
a stiletto in the other.
Forty years late her Sadie was praised.