by DeMisty D. Bellinger
Conversations with Whitney over Colas
Talk about the gaucheness of hotel bathtubs.
Do not mention hotel bathtubs.
Say nothing of hotels.
Expound on the importance of family and children, but
refrain from using the word “future.”
Make eye contact and make her laugh.
Do not smoke in front of her.
Do not smack your teeth in front of her.
Do not mention men who go freely before
cameras and boasts around her. Do not
talk of men. Do not talk of awards or the coolness
of bathtubs, the porcelain ungiven, the water
hot as blood, the bubbles
dissipating before the bath is
King of Pop Sonnet
Michael Jackson no longer feels highs and
Lows and barbs at his demeanor, his looks.
No longer sings in falsettos or cries out
In jubilant syllables, “hee,” or “hoo.”
Michael Jackson’s worries of tabloid covers,
Billboards, ratings: gone. His skin—sepia
or stained deck browns—concerns no one.
And he hides his love life from no one here.
Michael Jackson is weary of the sea now,
but at peace and the sun is warm and the
living so easy. If he wanted to
he could spit up into the air, arcing
the spittle across the bow of the boat
watch it glitter like so many studded gloves.
The Grooming of a Pop Star
I’m sure she knew nothing of Johnathan Swift
Or she did—
Obsessed with Gulliver’s Travels and Lilliputian and soft boiled eggs cracked on which end
She came up with satires extended into pages
She’s political as all that and,
When she was twelve
She spoke in an affected British accent.
I’m sure she danced like a cow with three left hooves when she was fourteen
She refused to go with Robby G. Glick for the homecoming dance because
She could not do even the simplest white girl bop
So she stayed home and watched television
Party of Five then the Gilmore Girls.
I’m sure she sang in the shower, the choir, the car, the bus, in tune, always, in tune
And turned heads
When she closed her eyes, she’d imagine herself wearing red lipstick
that glimmered and sparkled
and light bounced off it, off her, off her eyes, she glowed, she was