Friday, April 12, 2013

Norma Jean - Poetry Month 2013 - Day 12


Norma Jean

          -after Norma Barzman (1920 - )


Did you know
         because I didn’t
not until I read
Norma Barzman’s
memoir, The Red
and the Blacklist
that in 1947,
before Marilyn Monroe
was Marilyn Monroe
as we know her,
she was on her way
to a party at Vincent


(just after Liza was born)
and was stopped by police
at a road block.

A deputy sheriff, stopping every car
going up the hill toward the Minelli’s,
asked drivers: where are you going?
Not to 1290 Sunset Plaza Drive, are you?
he asked Norma.
Subversives live there.

The young blonde was irate
and promptly drove up the hill
and into the driveway
of 1290 Sunset Plaza Drive
and found Norma and Ben Barzman
sitting on their lawn.

The two Normas introduced themselves
and Ben went to make drinks
while drivers-by slowed down
and stalled in front of the Barzman house.
Norma Jean said: I don’t know what’s going on
and I don’t want to bring you bad news
but you’re being watched
and Ben said:
We were planning to have a meeting
for The Hollywood Ten.

Years later, expatriates in France the Barzmans
saw a newspaper photo of Marilyn Monroe
Hey!  Ben yelled, That girl! The blonde who warned us!
It was Marilyn Monroe.
She said her
name was Norma.
                                    -Esther Altshul Helfgott, 

The Red and the Blacklist: The Intimate Memoir of A Hollywood Expatriate (Thunder Mouth Press/Nation Books, 2003) pp. 96-99


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