Zelda’s Fortune

This poem was written for The After Midnight Contest inspired by Zelda Fitzgerald, which aired August 2nd on Late Night Poets Radio Show. Enjoy!

It is the loose ends
with which men hang themselves.

Women, of course, sew
and stitch together scraps
of various colors
from crumpled dreams.
The diary entries
in the novel of a lover.
The leftover conversations that
men conjure into fame.

This is the ways of things.

The sparkling diamond must
be smothered.
And the men who buy their
brilliance with their grandmother’s
wedding rings,
they need to hear the crowd
cheer their name,
even when it means
the other half is undiscovered
behind lock and key.

The redacted words and phrases
of an entire gender’s generation
sitting, sewing
the burning growing
while their partners
picked at loose ends,
pursued the threads
that found them both
bitter, burnt and dead.

© 2022 | K.Hartless


    • You’re right. It’s speculated some of her words and journals made it into his books. She did write a novel or two as well, but struggled with mental illness and was heavily censored by her husband, or so they say.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Exactly! It’s horrible that creative women were and still denied their own voices & had their works twisted as delusions or credited to others. Sad that we haven’t progressed more even by today.


  1. Wonderful poem. Scott Fitzgerald, though a great, lyrical writer was a complete a**hole and a thief. Yeah, he took stuff from his wife’s diaries and also demeaned her when she published something. A lot of male writers from that generation and later were the same – Philip Roth with his chauvinism comes to mind though he wrote in the sixties and seventies.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Indeed. I knew a bit of her story, but researching her to complete this piece really lit a fire in me to continue to tell the stories of those that didn’t have the opportunity to write, sing, or paint their own. Thank you for this comment and adding to the conversation. I can’t imagine the mind-f*** that she experienced as well as the having her creativity manipulated and misused. To say that things have changed completely for female writers would be massively naïve, I think.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. My mum spent a lifetime with a man just like F. Scott, and when he passed away, she took on his demeaning ways and attitudes. The bullied became the bully in the end. All I can say, K, is life is complicated.


  3. Wow. Really powerful, K. Those stunning first two lines and then the matter-of-fact eloquence of the poem as it explains itself. Dark undertones of the way things were, are.
    “This is the ways of things.” And a glimpse of steel here and there. Love this!


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