Academic journal article Michigan Quarterly Review

Hummingbird

Academic journal article Michigan Quarterly Review

Hummingbird

Article excerpt

Divine love always has met and always will meet every human need.

-Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures

Seat 1947 Hollywood Calif

Woke early! couldnt sleep past 6 AM & all last night waking & sweating & hearing voices of excitement & warning This would be the day to determine my FUTURE & already my heart was beating against my ribs like something small & feathered was trapped inside! But this is a good happy feeling I think

Birds singing outside my window at the Studio Club a good omen in the tall grass &jimson weed orioles, that liquidy call, & scrub jays harsh & wakeful & a remembered voice that dream of a man (a stranger) warning me something urgent in my life & Im scared I cant hear or dont know the actual words as if they are in a foreign language

Today I am scheduled to be shown Mr Zs famed AVIARY his prized collection of birds only the privileged have seen & later my audition "Scudda Hoo! Scudda Hay!" starring June Haver Mr Shinn says I am prettier & more talented than June Haver, I would like to believe him Its a fact I'm the only girl in my acting class invited to audition for this movie just a minor role of course

Pink plastic curlers covering my head 36 of them! a torture to position my head on a pillow my scalp aches & burns but I will not take sleeping pills like Im advised Shook out my "new" hair brushed & sprayed not yet accustomed to it What has happened, my hair has turned white as with a terrible shock

Sick with nerves & worry have not visited Mother in 5 months & must send $$$ A good thing Bucky cant see me now hed be disgusted I dont blame the Glazers its a shock to catch sight of myself unexpected a kewpie doll with such fluffed blond hair & the red lipstick & tight clothes Mr Shinn says I must wear

Mother once said Fear is born of hope if you could excise hope from your life you would excise fear these 20 anxious minutes applying makeup botched it & wiped everything off with cold cream & began again Oh Christ these brown eyebrows flaring out & not inward like my own & how could I have brown eyebrows with such silver-platinum hair its so FAKE if Doctor Mittelstadt could see me now or Mr Haring Bess Glazer Id be ASHAMED

On Hollywood Boulevard so many trees cut down & Wilshire, & Sunset L.A. is a new city now since the War Grandma Della would not know it, even Venice Beach after the War, Otto says there will be new wars capitalism requires new wars always there is a War except enemies change These new buildings/ streets/ sidewalks/ pavement Clattering & whining & the earth quivering like an aftershock Bulldozers/ cranes/ cement mixers/ drills the hills out in Westwood leveled & new buildings & streets "This used to be a country town" Otto says hed lived there when he first came to L.A. You can hear L.A. ticking almost I LOVE IT I am L.A.- born & a daughter of this city & nobody need know more than that I WILL INVENT MYSELF LIKE THIS CITY INVENTING ITSELF & no backward look

At Schwabs for breakfast & their eyes on me as I enter in acting class you must learn to be "blind" to the audience though paradoxically you are "seeing" through the eye of the audience & there above the fountain & grill the long mirror & my reElection inside always it seems jerky like a silent film not graceful oh God the girl in the mirror at Mayers Im thinking of Aunt Elsie who loved me & betrayed me Yet: that girl in the mirror shy & fearful of seeing herself

oh God the life behind me I have lost

A good happy feeling I will choose to interpret all fear as excitement and anticipation of the Future our acting instructor says Energy is the actors lifeblood I must not be anxious of the Future for my destiny will be there as God compels us to choose our lifes meaning I DO BELIEVE THIS there is no evil, & no sickness, & no Satan except in the mind On the trolley on Sunset trying to concentrate minion requite prerogative words from the dictionary on note cards & the meanings on the backs like the young Chinese students (unless Japanese? …

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