13 September 2005

Our Lady of the Dark

I'm at the Globe Theater
in West Hollywood
to see “Merry Wives of Windsor”
for one reason only:
Gloria Grahame
is playing Mistress Page

I’m early
in the small lobby
when suddenly
she appears
Gloria Grahame
wearing blue jean cutoffs
& high heels
as if she were still playing
John Heard’s mother

our eyes meet
I’m too in awe
to speak
she toddles
into the ladies room

our only moment
a glance
that takes less time
than scalding coffee
to cross a room

her eyes a portal
thru which I slip
into the black & white world
projectd onto
the screen at the Rivoli

a world
of cheap hotel rooms
with lampshades
coffee cup rings on mahogany
mirrors & window blinds
cum stains on carpet

in these shadows
Marie Windsor is bad
Ann Savage badder but
Gloria Grahame
best of all

she cd snuff
a cigaret in yr eyeball
or slide her novacaine lips
all the way down yr body

& if she took
a bullet to the breast
you’d imagine
her ascension
in a throne
of cigaret smoke
above garbage cans
in a rain-slick alley

Gloria Grahame
is heading to heaven
so the angels
better beware

I keep making crowns
for these movie dames
one glance & I’ve got
Gloria Grahame
a furlong ahead of the saints

after all in 1979
she’s merely
a rude mechanical
playing Shakespeare
to pay the rent

but I can’t imagine
Gloria Grahame
paying the rent
she’s better
than all the saints

she deserves
to have something
named for her
certainly not a church or school
shit no
maybe a bar
Gloria’s Café Noir
where the drinks
wd curl the hair
on Aldo Ray’s chest

it’s been a while
since I saw
Gloria Grahame
at the Globe
she died
2 years later
but as long
as I see
her movies
she’ll never die

& maybe
when the big heat
licks at my remains
my eyes
will still
be seeing hers


jeff w said...

Jeff: "The whole town knows you've been giving money to Violet Bick".

Alex: "We're sisters under the mink".

jeff w said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Okir said...

Wow is all I can say. That's a pretty cool poem. Reminds me of my grad class in Film at UC Berkeley; most of the class was spent on our professor's two obsessions: black and white films featuring Jean Tierney & Joan Crawford, each hairdo and eyelash perfectly in place, each lip cleanly outlined, couture to die for, and those killer closeups...

AlexG said...

thx Jeff & Jean...

film remains my final addiction. & it seems to be the most fertile ground in which to sprout poems.

cinemage books said...

lovely poem for one of our favorites.