May 29, 2024

3 Poems by Mickey J. Corrigan

3 Poems by Mickey J. Corrigan

*Featured image courtesy of Talha Riaz on Pexels*

These poems are a bit different from our usual postings. They are written as a biography following the husbands of the poet Dorothy Parker, and their life with her.

On Dorothy Parker by her First Husband 
(Edwin Pond Parker II) 

When I met her she was small 
a woman you could woo 
breathe her woody scent 
run hands down slim hips 
have lively discussions  
her sweet gentle voice 
sharing words of love. 

Time sharpened her edges 
her soft speech peppered 
with bricklayer swears 
her radical views 
cutting bitch wit 
deep sense of injustice 
anger at the rich which 
I took personally, insulted 
as provider in our home 
scion of a fine family 
successful stockbroker 
she seemed to reject all 
that she had come from 
that I was giving her  
she bit the open hand 
of her master once 
too many times. 

After the war 
I returned from the front 
different than I’d left her 
alone for two years 
I was not a fit 
with her artsy crowd 
except our shared thirst 
little short drinks 
all through the day 
and out all night 
’til I left her 
for my mother 
in the dry suburbs  
of upscale Connecticut. 

Her rebound poems 
book reviewers loved 
her stories capturing 
the roar of young New York 
that new urban masterpiece 
glass towers, fast cars  
bobbed women in furs  
the crack jazz syntax 
of excitement experienced 
walking rain-wet streets 
the maternal love she felt 
not for children  
or me 
but for her own big life.  

On Dorothy Parker by her Second Husband 
(Alan Campbell)  

I was a Broadway actor 
handsome but underutilized 
when she swept into my life 
her incandescent humor  
her firebrand charm 
and I convinced her 
to love me despite  
my undesirable desires 
we moved to L.A. 
where the streets were paved 
with Goldwyn she said 
we could write scripts 
with roles for me. 

We went straight 
to the top and lived 
in Beverly Hills 
a pretty house 
a yard full of dogs 
romping and writing 
screenplay after screenplay 
nominated for Oscars 
the original story for 
A Star is Born… 
but mine did not rise 
and her faith in me sank 
announcing one day 
in the slosh of martinis 
I was queer as a goat. 

First thing I do in the morning  
is brush my teeth  
and sharpen my tongue. 

I escaped to the Air Force 
officer training school, Miami 
swimming pools and barracks 
good friends, a better life 
I met a woman 
and did not return.  

On Dorothy Parker by her Third Husband  
(Alan Campbell) 

She got dumped in Mexico 
by yet another playboy 
fighting her desires 
crawling back to me 
we wed again 
a bouquet of big smiles  
for the moment 
for the newspapers 
in the California sunshine 
rapidly fading to shadows 
drinking, bickering 
until she fled 
to New York, always 
back to New York. 

She moved into a modest  
residential hotel 
dark halls full of shuffling 
lonely old women 
gray widows, spinsters 
in soft slippers, housecoats 
and she wrote a play 
about them, herself 
a success on the stage 
a traveling show. 

The only thing to expect 
from Dorothy Parker 
was the unexpected. 

When I sold a project 
to Fox Studios  
the contract stipulated 
both of us  
or no deal 
she came back to me 
sharing my bungalow 
in the Swish Alps. 

I installed a bookcase 
in my bedroom doorway 
with a hidden lock 
with a handful of pills 
I lay down on my bed  
under the dry cleaning 
and she had to hunt down  
the secret key 
to let herself in 
to my cold blue flesh. 

Back to New York 
among the gray widows  
a frail bird  
whittling herself down 
to yellow bones 
full of regrets 
for what she saw 
as her meager 

I hate writing.  
I love having written. 

She was at war  
with herself 
her whole life.

Originally from Boston, Mickey J. Corrigan writes tropical noir with a dark humor. Her poetry has been widely published in literary journals and chapbooks. In 2020, Grandma Moses Press released Florida Man. A less humorous chapbook is No Guns Left Behind, poems on the history of school shootings. Visit her at

#Dorothy Parker#Husbands#Marriages#Mickey Corrigan#poetry

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