Reading Ulysses – Heidi Seaborn

          ~From an Eve Arnold photograph taken of Marilyn Monroe

Scholars call it parallax me reading Joyce I say pair
a legs to that mine and Molly’s our skirts blowing
up showing cream muslin drawers I wore white
cotton panties two pair doubled up for the scene
that incited Joe to treat me like dirt yes that’s what I
was reading when everyone assumed I was
reading only the dirty parts so that’s what they
wrote in the paper about me reading my first
edition that I bought at the Strand and carried
everywhere so while the photographer was
fiddling with the film I pulled it out to read and
when she asked me if I liked it I said it’s a slog
which everyone knows it is but it’s a bigger slog to
be always in the kitchen to get his lordship breakfast and
it’s a huge slog to break with the studio move
across country and start your own production
company now that’s a slog so when I slog through
Ulysses it’s because I might just option it hire a
writer any director I want and play the role of
Molly I don’t care what anybody says it’d be much better
for the world to be governed by the women in it you wouldn’t
see women going and killing one another slaughtering when
do you ever see women rolling around drunk like they do or
gambling every penny they have and losing it on horses yes
because a woman whatever she does she knows where to

Heidi Seaborn is Executive Editor of The Adroit Journal and author of [PANK] Book Award winner An Insomniac’s Slumber Party with Marilyn Monroe (2021). Recent work in American Poetry Journal, The Slowdown with Tracy K. Smith, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA in Poetry from NYU. Website:

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