Five Poems by Mira Martin-Parker


My mother wore Diorissimo perfume. She was beautiful.

According to Wilhelm Reich, it all begins with the authoritarian family—with sexual repression in early childhood,
I can’t smell Diorissimo now without thinking of her back then.

the mother’s transformation from a sexual being to a means of procreation, the idolization of motherhood, the fear of orgasm, and work.
My mother started taking me out with her at night when I was in my
early teens.
According to Reich, the worker’s economic situation and his position in the home are in direct contradiction
I was living with my dad’s best friend at the time.
the worker is the leader in the home and the servant in the workplace. The mother serves the father, the father represses the son, and so on.

But on weekends I would take the Sunset Boulevard bus into Hollywood and stay at mother’s place.
Reich relates fascism to sexual repression in early childhood.
I was my mother’s favorite party friend. I loved the way she smelled.
For Reich, homosexuality and fascism are closely connected.
She’d sneak me into clubs with her and tell everyone we were cousins.
Sexual perversion inevitably results from the inability to express one’s self normally through healthy sexual relations with others.
I thought it was great fun.
One is forced to find expression in distorted and unhealthy acts.
We’d dance till five at after hours clubs, then go out for breakfast.

But mother doesn’t drink anymore. She wants to forget the past.
The release of pent up sexual tension inevitably leads to guilt.

She doesn’t like to hear about it. She says I’m a very angry person.
Black uniforms, black boots
“You hate me,” mother says.
On a face. Forever.
My mother wore Diorissimo perfume. She was beautiful.


Mother drank white wine with ice cubes
Mother wore a midnight blue men’s overcoat
Mother smoked clove cigarettes
Mother was nighttime
Mother was blonde with pale skin
Mother was a Hollywood blonde
Mother was a rooftop blonde, at a Hollywood party just off the Boulevard
Mother sped along the freeway with bald tires
Her VW loaded up with punks
They were all in love with her
They were all in love with mother

Last Post

Mother loved poetry
She’d lie in bed all day long
Reading Lorca and Breton
Sometimes she’d even read to me

Always, always, garden of my agony
A pale branch of seed

And something about the last post

Mother loved poetry
She’d lie in bed all day long
Dreaming of France
She’d say to me, “One of these days we’re going to…”

Then, as usual, we’d receive an eviction notice
And have to move in a couple of days.
But mother didn’t care
She’d just lie in bed
Reading lovely poems to me

Always, always, garden of my agony
A pale branch of seed

And something about the last post

Five White Women

Five white women
watched me grow
into what is known as a modern girl—
a drinker, a smoker, and a bit of a whore.

I suppose it was considered inevitable
a genetic predisposition
on my father’s side,
that undeniable Native blood.

I was therefore excused
at family gatherings, no one asked.
The five white women
spoke only of gardens.

But over the years my features grew darker
and rooms fell silent when I entered.
“There she is again,” they’d whisper,
“that Indian girl, what is her name?”

Then they began to fear
I’d turn over furniture in a fit of rage.
I considered it once—
getting drunk and breaking glassware.

But instead, after sitting alone for an hour,
I walked over to the entry hall
grabbed my handbag
and left.


She naps. She does nothing all day. She sits in the sun daydreaming. She smells of Diorissimo, of Fracas, of Bal à Versailles. She is sharp-featured like a bird. She says our parakeet thinks she’s beautiful. She enjoys poetry. She likes the surrealists. She reads Breton in the afternoon, when she’s napping, in the sun, the day before we are supposed to move, the day before we will have no place to live, because she has spent all of her inheritance on a trip to France. But nothing will harm her. Someone will come and save her. Someone always comes and saves mother.

Profile: Mira Martin-Parker

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