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A Poetic Defense of Leona Helmsley

Apropos my recent poetry-related post (see also my post about Ayn Rand’s favorite poem)— just stumbled across what may be my only published poetry. It’s a letter to the editor published in LSU’s Daily Reveille, when I was in college, probably in September of 1985. It was a response to a poem attacking Leona Helmsley. The original is here: Poem Rebuttal, letter to the editor, LSU Daily Reveille, September (?), 1985 (?) (defense of Leona Helmsley).

Text below. The references are to Zsa Zsa Gabor and Leona Helmsley, both sentenced to jailtime, Zsa Zsa for slapping a cop and Helmsley for tax evasion.

Poem Rebuttal

Kristin L. Heflin’s poem in the 9-19 Reveille included the following lines:

Zsa Zsa slapped a cop,
And she’s supposed to go to jail.
She’ll endure many hardships-
Things like shopping through the mail.

Leona is a jail-bird too;
She jipped the I.R.S.
I’ve heard she tried to locate
A designer prison dress.

She’ll share a cell, the sheets aren’t silk,
And to her great dismay
She’s found out that the prison food
Cannot be classed “gourmet.”

Very nice. So nice, in fact, that she inspired me to write a poem. I call it “Dear Ms. Heflin.”

When you attack these ladies,
Your talents you misuse.
You’re knocking them not for vices,
But instead for their virtues!

Zsa Zsa slapped a cop.
Yes, that much is true.
But for that cop’s obscenity,
I’ll bet—so would you.

And Leona “jipped” the I.R.S.?!
But whose money is it, hey?
Since I.R.S. jipped her first
Turnabout is fair play.

Zsa Zsa’s fame, success and riches
Must really make you mad;
Leona’s great achievements
I guess you think are bad.

A barometer of our age, Ms. Heflin—
Oh, yes, you tell us plenty.
Such resentment against achievement!
This is the age of envy.

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