…Beltway Poetry Quarterly: Full Moon on
K Street, Poems about Washington DC and DC Perspectives. Her first book of poems Disappearing
Act was published in 2015 by Dryad Press. She co-edited A Wild Perfection the Selected
Letters of James Wright with Ann Wright and they are currently working on a book about
Wright in translation: Where the Treasure Lies. She has also published Solitary Apprenticeship:
James Wright and German Poetry. And is currently working again with Ann on a book about Wright
in translation, tentatively titled Where the Treasure Lies. She teaches composition and
research at Montgomery College in Takoma Park, Maryland. Her winning poem which she is going
to read for us today is called Charlotte Darling. Please welcome Saundra Rose Maley. [APPLAUSE]
Can you hear me? Yes!
Hi. Thank you for coming it is so nice to see Baltimore loving poetry the way it does.
I have been really impressed I have been getting calls and emails all week about this. And
I said Wow, Baltimore is on the ball. I sent this little poem in. We are only allowed to
send one poem. And I thought how can you send one poem out of having quite a few lying around.
And Charlotte jumped up and said “send me, send me.” So I did. And I won’t say a whole
lot except one, there’s one reference that may not be as clear and at the end of the
poem I mention the HUAC which was the House on Un-American Activities Committee. She was
called before them way back in 1953. Um, that doesn’t sound very poetic does it? The House
on Un-American Activities. But anyway, this is a poem about Charlotte who actually was
behind the scenes in the world of cartoons and I loved cartoons when I was growing up.
Charlotte Darling Was an Ink and Paint Girl in LA
Worked with a quill Tracing cartoon lines onto cels
For less than three bucks a day– Bit her lower lip at the start
Of every frame–5,000 cels to go– Maybe 10! Aaaaahh–men!
She’d crack a joke About the guy she was seeing,
Adjust her gooseneck lamp Put her head down and draw–
At Warner Bros. she inked Buddy, A Looney Tune who took on
Mickey Mouse–Buddy’s run Was short, but Charlotte’s pen
Got Buddy out on his first date With Cookie in 1933.
She worked for Disney, too, And Hanna-Barbera–
A sharp dresser, her hat dipped To one side–she was the first
To sign up for the Cartoonists Guild, Went Red for a time,
Collected pennies for the cause. Years later she was called
Before the HUAC– I only wanted more money for us gals,
All those frames! She named four names.