| Home | Fiction | Listserv | Creative Archives | Scholarly Archives |
| Book Review Archives | Critical Essays | Contribute | Search the Site |

Anna Nicole Poems

ISBN: 978-1434896087

By Grace Cavalieri
Reviewer: Cheryl Townsend

January 2009

Poems, as one would guess, based loosely on the short and pathos-driven life of Anna Nicole. Her love of fame, men, drugs and her dislikes of their after effects. I’ve always had a bit of curiosity for Mz Smith, mostly why she tried so desperately to emulate Marilyn Monroe...even in her death (though I do hope that wasn’t her intent.) Her own fixation created the public’s and launched her into a fame she had no concept for living. Constantly trying to escape her own life, she used whatever was available at the time, be it drugs, booze, men, or fantasy. These poems are every bit as believable as the tabloids. Perhaps more so, in that they speak in psyche and not scandal.

The second poem, “A TINY BOAT CAUGHT SIDEWAYS,” has the line “the safety of loneliness reached out to her.” but she didn’t know enough to allow it’s embrace, opting instead for the constant limelight and adoration of whomever was available. The star-starved icon of fabricated allure, much like Paris Hilton, known mostly for their impetus to be known.

In “NOTES FROM A DISTANT GLACIER” there are pulls from those that orbit her, extending advice, critique, and clichés. None comfortably juxtaposing with the other. None speaking to her, only at her. It’s no wonder her life was her own facade.

Anna looks out the window
She sees the pink azalea outside. So pretty. That color.
So perfect. It must be fake.

And so it characterizes herself. She recognizes this, yet perpetuates it. She is that azalea.

Even though “she felt dry inside” and accepted that “men took out their happiness on her” she just could not fully walk away from her own need to still be Anna. Unable to separate herself from her own fiction, her own caricature, “her body was making fun of her face” sums her up best.

Each poem animates the darkness concealing her. Haunted by her dead at birth twin, “Anima”, she struggles to win her own mind back from her. Anima’s subconscious presence slowly trickles away, out of her life, taking more and more of what remains of Anna’s sanity with her. A “fade to black” prevails in nearly every aspect of her being.

A constant flux of doctors, men, and assistants subplot her. While they are her strengths, they are also her ruination. Crutches that essentially cause her own crippling via over-reliance and perpetuation.

Her extended affair with a married man appears to be her only happiness, albeit, of course, short-lived. Lonely amongst the throngs, “she thought of all the beds she’d known” is hardly a boast. Each was a search more than a find. It appears death was her only true lover.

Though these poems claim to be “a work of the imagination” and that “any resemblance to persons, living or dead is purely coincidental, or pure luck,” I have to say that Grace Cavalieri epitomizes what assuredly reads like reality. After all, all fiction is based on reality...eventually.

 

Contact Women Writers