All The Bright Young Things at The Last Picture Show

Jean Harlow, the original Blonde “Bombshell”

And they wore shades of pink, of mauve and aubergine,
Sitting in the front row,
too close to the screen,
as shades of silver night slipped like filtered glitter
around their feet,
and they never looked at one another,
so they’d never have to meet.
But they knew it was the latest thing that they were wearing,
he’d said so the other day,
and they sat there in the front row,
hoping he would look their way.
And the usher took his flashlight,
and he shined it at the ceiling,
he didn’t want to notice them,
or what they were revealing.
While the movie played in 3/4 time,
and the train was moving faster,
and they’d buy another ticket,
to witness the disaster,
of all the other girls that went alone,
not needing anyone,
they wore shades of pink and aubergine,
and they did it just for fun,
to look like maybe Harlow did,
in some haloed light,
they sat too close to the movie screen,
and hoped they looked just right.

September 25, 2015, Teri Skultety

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This author, Teri Skultety, about a decade ago

From a couple of years ago, I thought that the word “aubergine” sounded poetic and wanted to build a poem around it, so I did. At one time or another, we’re all, or have been, the bright young thing at the last picture show, there’s something beautifully poignant about that. I’ve been very blessed with this ability to put words together in this way. It is something that I was naturally adept at to begin with, but, it is also a skill that took the last forty years to develop to where I’m at with it now, something I worked at quite continuously. I’ve written a lot of bad poetry along the way. The point of that is that like any other skill, it’s something that has to be cultivated. Ballerinas learn to be ballerinas. I’m not a person who subscribes to the idea of stagnation, as mentioned in previous posts, I want to be just as good at writing stories, to have that process and skill be as fluid for me as writing poetry is. The answer to that is to keep writing fiction. I still write poems though, always have, I probably always will.