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  • Keith Banner

Barbara Stanwyck

how many cigarettes

did barbara stanwyck smoke

her whole goddamn career?


infinity is the answer

an infinite number of cigarettes

being lit, the smoke


even unfilmed

blown out of such

dedicated lips


every movie

makes you understand

the working class


even when she was trolling

and doing some uptight

queen, she was hard-core


she was the the bitch you

do not mess with

the one lady you


fear

that combination of

mousy and determined


that is where

her glamour

is located that nexus


not giving 1 shit and

then letting you know in secret

she can kill you


with one

beautiful

exhalation


phyllis does me in

everytime

double indemnity for those who don't know


platinum-blonde california

housewife

at the wheel of her


stupid car

and fred macmurray

strangling her stupid husband


but the camera

on her

face, her expression


a gorgeous mask of need

and vengeance

and curdled love


she knows

what life is

once it is snuffed out




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