TSM 170 — Babydoll

Back then she was called Babydoll,
a spark from mommy’s fever dream;
their heaped station wagon zig-zagged
to try-outs with soulless faces.

P(r)imped in ringlets and pink ruffles,
back then she was called Babydoll.
She batted her eyes; dimpled her
way onto marquees nation-wide.

Sedatived for convenience
that by teenhood became habit.
Back then she was called Babydoll.
The offers changed, the lights now dim.

Happy Meal Lane, that sad place where
child stars roulette with powdered doom.
Where dealers and faux friends still ooh.
Back then she was called Babydoll.

 

Today’s offering is in the quatern form. Thank you, Shay, for the wonderful image to write to. 
Shay is today’s host of The Sunday Muse

70 Comments Add yours

  1. Sadje says:

    A heartbreaking story Li

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Sadje.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sadje says:

        You’re welcome

        Liked by 1 person

  2. fireblossom32 says:

    Baby Jane Hudson, I presume?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      Shay, not sure who that is. I had Judy Garland in mind. I saw a biopic where they forced sedatives on her from an early age 😦

      Liked by 1 person

      1. fireblossom32 says:

        In the movie What Ever Happened To Baby Jane, Bette Davis plays a rather strange weird looking old woman who had been a child star in vaudeville with a stage name of Baby Jane Hudson.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. msjadeli says:

          OK thanks for the clarification, Shay. Didn’t realize that was her last name! I do remember she terrorized Joan Crawford. Was Joan her sister? I can’t remember all of the details it’s been so long since watching it.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. robtkistner says:

          With Joan Crawford as well — shat sn intensely creepy and sad movie! This brought that flick to mind as I read.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Jen Goldie says:

    Lisa you should try to find “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane.” Bette Davis I think starred. A classic! IMO

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Saw it! Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, what a team!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Jen Goldie says:

        Super Team!!!!!!! and Olivia DeHavillan (Sp)

        Liked by 1 person

        1. msjadeli says:

          Yes, she was another great actress. Wasn’t she in Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte with Joseph Cotton?

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Jen Goldie says:

            OH YEAH!!!! I can still hear the theme song……

            Liked by 1 person

            1. msjadeli says:

              Is this the movie where Joseph Cotton’s head rolls down the staircase?

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Jen Goldie says:

                😂 Yup!!!!!!!!

                Liked by 1 person

                  1. Jen Goldie says:

                    There’s a trailer on You tube 😂

                    Liked by 1 person

  4. Carrie V. H. says:

    Yes a sad tale indeed. It made me think of Baby Jane too. Wonderful poetry Lisa!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Carrie!

      Like

  5. Portofino says:

    Oh, thank God! I’m not the only one who went with Baby Jane (Bette Davis). https://youtu.be/bNwzfjNkz-0

    …although it could easily have brought to mind the movie “Babydoll” (a whole ‘nother story).

    Nicely written. Very evocative.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Charley, this isn’t for Baby Jane specifically (you’re dating yourself by knowing who Baby Jane is, you know) but for any child star that ages out that’s fallen on rough times (and you know there are a bunch, both female and male.) I was actually thinking of Judy Garland when I wrote it. Thank you very much. Now I need to see what you wrote!

      Like

      1. Portofino says:

        I didn’t this week. Not on speaking terms with muse lately.

        I totally get what you were shooting for. (And actually BJ was that kind of a story.)

        Liked by 1 person

    2. msjadeli says:

      p.s. I hope “Babydoll” isn’t the title of a porn movie, but knowing porn, there is a movie with every title known to language.

      Like

      1. Portofino says:

        1956. Carol Baker.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. msjadeli says:

          imdb doesn’t have this one. 1956 says it can’t be that pornographic lol

          Liked by 1 person

            1. msjadeli says:

              So it is Baby Doll, 2 words, and Carroll Baker. I just read the plot and the trivia section. My my one I’m going to need to see. Thanks for the heads-up, Charley!

              Like

              1. Portofino says:

                My post is up on TSM. For what it’s worth.

                Liked by 1 person

                1. msjadeli says:

                  I read it and am still trying to absorb it. Looking at the woman in your poem, I guess whatever works!

                  Liked by 1 person

                  1. Portofino says:

                    Hahaha! I guess.

                    Liked by 1 person

    3. msjadeli says:

      Charley I don’t see your link in Mr. Linky at TSM?

      Like

  6. qbit says:

    a spark from mommy’s fever dream; – great line!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Many thanks, q!

      Like

  7. Jim says:

    This is sad, still happening today with court sanction. Poor Britany Spears, controlled all her performing life.
    I’m naive, reading your poem on its face. A wonderfully written piece, terribly sad tale told well.
    I remember “What happened to Baby Jane” but didn’t go see it. I hardly ever went to movies, about a dozen, probably less, in my whole long life. I do like stage productions with live actors, musicals are fine.
    Thank you for peeking in on me.
    ..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Jim, thank you for your thoughtful comment. I feel back for every one of them. I’ve watched a few things lately where they are putting kids into some very disturbing scenes in movies and tv series. I can’t help but wonder if that will compound the trauma. I enjoy live music, theater, etc. also. You’re welcome on the peek 🙂

      Like

  8. “Back then she was called Babydoll.
    The offers changed, the lights now dim.”

    the progression of this poem is writ loud and clear in a marvellous Quatern

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Laura, thank you very much. Nice to see you 🙂

      Like

  9. Helen Dehner says:

    What happens way way too often to those Baby Dolls. It reminds me of those horrific beauty pageants for toddlers. Criminal. Beautiful form, beautiful write, Lisa.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Yes, they do, Helen. I’ve seen docs on those toddler and “little miss” pageants and they have the feel of an addiction on the part of the parents. Thank you for your thoughtful comment.

      Like

  10. hedgewitch says:

    A crisp and eloquent quatrain that uses the for to convey a lingering sense of a life wasted too young.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you very much for your feedback, Hedgewitch. I appreciate it.

      Like

  11. memadtwo says:

    I’m thinking of Britney Spears. We are voracious users. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

  12. This reminded me as well of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Linda. I just watched a clip of it and was chilled all over again.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. gillena says:

    I remember that movie. I also remember Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte. In my teen movie going days . I find Betty Davis eyes were scary.
    Happy Sunday Jade Li. Thanks for dropping by to read mine

    Much💜love

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      You’re welcome, Gillena.

      Like

  14. Susie Clevenger says:

    So powerful… You’ve captured the journey of too many child stars so well. It makes me think of Judy Garland and how the put her in a lane she didn’t want to live in.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Susie, I had her in mind when I wrote it.

      Like

  15. robtkistner says:

    So well written Lisa. Grabbed me a pilled mr right through to the sad end. Strong writing my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Glad you connected with it, Rob, thank you.

      Like

  16. badfinger20 (Max) says:

    That is good story telling…in that format. Unfortunately true for a lot of them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Max. Narrative poems are my favorite ones to write. I would love to have the focus and skill to write an epic poem.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. badfinger20 (Max) says:

        That has to be hard to combine the two like that. I enjoy them because I get the story…

        Liked by 1 person

        1. msjadeli says:

          For me it’s easy to combine the two, and I think I enjoy them for the same reason.

          Liked by 1 person

  17. Very powerful and resonates with me as a loss of an innocence that was always being powdered with sexuality.
    Strong statements in a poetic way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Navasola, thank you for the wonderful feedback. I like what you see with your eyes.

      Like

  18. wyndolynne says:

    This makes me want to cry. It reminds me most recently of Britney Spears and the question of what responsibility an audience bears for the performances/ers it consumes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Wyndolynne, the “starmaking machinery” (to quote Joni Mitchell) churns souls up and spits them out. We are all accessories to murder. If nobody watched, the practice would end. Thank you for your thoughtful and sensitive comment.

      Like

  19. Chris Hall says:

    Tragic and brilliantly crafted, Li! ‘P(r)imped’ conveys so much… so cleverly done!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Chris! I debated on putting the “r” in parentheses and decided to go with it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Chris Hall says:

        A masterful stroke!

        Liked by 1 person

  20. selizabryangmailcom says:

    That IS a great image to go with the poem.
    So tragic but so common, too, that story.
    “where child stars roulette with powdered doom”…….
    Ooh. Chilling!
    I totally see where Baby Jane came up, but this made me also think of a book called “A Certain Age” by Tama Janowitz. Not the same as a child star and all they’re put through, but the same due to inordinate youthful beauty that fades with age and what’s left of the aging woman who depended on only her looks. I think you’d like this book, Li!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks, Stacey. I think there is a lot of exploitation of the young and the vulnerable. What’s probably worst is when the person does it to themselves, which is what “A Certain Age” seems to be talking about. It does sound like a good read and I would like to see where she takes it. Adding it to my goodreads list! Thanks for the recommend.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. selizabryangmailcom says:

    You are totally right.
    In this book she TOTALLY does it to herself.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Love this, Lisa. The repetition in it is perfect for a reminder of the past.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Sara. I had that line and I knew I wanted a repeating form.

      Like

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