Elizebeth "Betty" Short Poems About The Black Dahlia

A Brief Introduction

Two poems, one free verse and one villanelle written for/about Elizabeth Short AKA "The Black Dahlia." Her story and murder is one that has captured the imagination of many and inspired more than a fair share of writers to commit pen to paper. She is a gothic muse if ever there was such a thing...

Murdered at the ripe age of 22, her body defiled by God knows who and left out in the open on 39th and Norton in a a once budding part of Los Angeles.

Her story is one of mystery and intrigue.  July 29th was her birthday.  It was about that time this summer that I got to work on these.  The first one, in free verse, was my brainstorm that lead into the villanelle. 

Thanks for reading.

Betty

I think I saw you once

With that extended smile and broken teeth.

But I saw you before...

Before.

Before you met...

Who were you?

What dreams you had?

What dreams you lost?

How far you were willing to go?

How far did you have to run?

Was your soul already severed

before...

Before you met...

Black hair.

Black... forget it, it's overrated.

And shampooed.

I think I owe you an apology.

I think we all do.

How could we have stopped you?

How could we have saved you?

Why was the Biltmore so appealing?

What did they say?  What did he promise?

How were you seduced?

How much was the price of your fame?

Before...

Before you met...

Sliced.

Diced.

Drained.

Beaten.

Bruised.

Battered.

Left.

Innocent Victim?

I'm so sorry.

So sorry.

Where was your fly boy savior?

He never came.

Instead it was...

Please forgive us all.

For not finding

and naming...

Your killer.

Betty Short

I think I saw you once, but that was before you met...

What dreams you had; what dreams came true. How much was the cost of your fame?

What did he promise? What did he say? How could you have let...


Where did you go, from the Biltmore, after the sun had set?

Missing almost a week; did you know him? Was he an old flame?

I think I saw you once, but that was before you met...


Did he say he'd make you famous? Were you gonna be a starlet?

But that was before the monster made us all know your name.

What did he promise? What did he say? How could you have let..


Smoke rises, ashtray's full, muted trumpet in the background, smoke your last cigarette.

Sliced, Diced, Beaten, Broken, Battered, Drained, Left, No Shame.

I think I saw you once, but that was before you met...


Who could have done such a thing? How did you become his puppet?

Why did you go with him!?! You naïve, stupid, dreamy dame!

What did he promise? What did he say? How could you have let...


Legs left open; stuffed; displayed, frayed, nothing let private.

Your wish came true, finally famous, look at what you became.

I think I saw you once, but that was before you met...

What did he promise? What did he say? How could you have let...

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Comments 11 comments

vrbmft profile image

vrbmft 6 years ago from Yucaipa, California

I really enjoy your poetry. It always intrigues me and inspires me to "write" poetry as well. Via our great Uncle Bill, DA of LA at the time, we might be more connected to Betty than we want to know. Let's hope not!!


YogaKat profile image

YogaKat 4 years ago from Oahu Hawaii

Her bizarre murder was history when I was a child, back before DNA testing. Your poem captures the irony of fame by victimization.


David R Bradley profile image

David R Bradley 4 years ago from The Active Side of Infinity Author

Hey YogaKat, thanks for finding this Hub and leaving a comment. Always been a fascinating case me. Real life film noir.


Pamela-anne profile image

Pamela-anne 4 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

I enjoyed reading your poetry thanks for sharing keep it coming!


David R Bradley profile image

David R Bradley 4 years ago from The Active Side of Infinity Author

Thank you Pamela-anne! I need to bang out a few more poems! Appreciate the encouragement!


ocfireflies profile image

ocfireflies 3 years ago from North Carolina

What an interesting take on the villanelle. Much enjoyed the poem and the information.


David R Bradley profile image

David R Bradley 3 years ago from The Active Side of Infinity Author

Thank you ocfireflies! Just curious, how did you find this hub?


ocfireflies profile image

ocfireflies 3 years ago from North Carolina

I wanted to checkout other villanelles after publishing my first one. Your title caught my attention. I had not heard of Betty Short/ Black Dahlia.


David R Bradley profile image

David R Bradley 3 years ago from The Active Side of Infinity Author

Great - so was it through Google you searched or hub pages?


ocfireflies profile image

ocfireflies 3 years ago from North Carolina

hubpages-I started my own hub a couple of weeks ago. I am enjoying my hp experience.


David R Bradley profile image

David R Bradley 3 years ago from The Active Side of Infinity Author

Excellent! Enjoy Hubpages - looking forward to great things from you...

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