Pondering Three of Marilyn’s Sketches in Red


     I want to be an artist, not an erotic freak.

—Marilyn Monroe


1. Lover watching his love sleep


 Line wisps into woman

almost a throwaway

back arched / nipples erect

 on display :: behind glass

 the man / contours of head

 and hand heavy as he

leans on a windowsill /

smashes his face against

 the pane


2. A glass of champagn the morning after*

 The night before too

plus a couple of knockout

drops to help her sleep ::

 she drowsed Conté

 across the paper / barely

 there and still tipsy :: bowl

tilts right / stem left

broken :: one coupe

 makes a lonely celebration


3. Nude tucking her knees under


 Calendar girl has no head ::

Marilyn shrugs

red crayon into curves

 a huddle of legs / back

 / the barest of breasts

 :: one shoulder arrows

outward / points





*Marilyn Monroe misspelled champagne when she wrote the title on the sketch.

Lynne Jensen Lampe has poems in or forthcoming from Olney Magazine, Yemassee, Moist Poetry Journal, and elsewhere. Also to come is her chapbook Talk Smack to a Hurricane, about mothers, daughters, and mental illness (Ice Floe Press, 2022). A 2020 Red Wheelbarrow Poetry Prize finalist, she lives in mid-Missouri where she edits academic books and journals. Visit her at or on Twitter: @LJensenLampe.