FR38: Dec 2008


Walleah Press


Famous Reporter


The Return of Debbie Does Dallas

You look at the screen one more time.
There you are. Wow. There she is. Wow.
In the 70s she was the girl next door
almost. You’ve no idea where she might be.
Reports of her family reclaiming her for
the church & the family-to-be? Possibly.
There were supposed to be sightings. Maybe.
There was the story of an overdose in 86.
Of course her name wasn’t her name & anyway
she would have changed her changed name.
You’ve seen them get in & get out of
the industry with rolled up dollars. Some.
More often than not you’ve seen the ones
taking their take, their takes day by day
& waiting for the break, The Big Time.
Thrills on the job; drugs on the side.
There’s always something more than money
even if they mostly don’t know what or why.
It’s hard, but harder on women. You don’t
need to count the names uprolling up & up.
AIDS. Overdose. Gunshot--- suicide & homicide.
Sure as, but it can be hard on men too.
You had a few bit parts free to air.
A good agent. Then one day she said
she couldn’t be your agent anymore.
After that, coke, coke, booze & more coke.
Look at you. Your room’s a shambles.
Your life’s. You’ve never done anything.
Pause. Shucks! At least you did Debbie.
Now you’re so brim-full of self-pity
no one could think of you as anything
but a joke, least of all you as Sad Sack
in some kind of new but old Morality Play.
Anyway now you’re playing the lead role
& you’re back to playing yourself.

Graham Rowlands has published more than 800 poems in magazines and newspapers with some anthologised by Penguin, Random House, Oxford University Press and University of Queensland Press. He lives in Adelaide.