Yeah, this never happened

It’s the Golden Age
and I’m in New York
pretending to be Holly Golightly
not Audry Hepburn, the real Holly Golightly
BigTex herself, all pinkness and smiles,
not meeting the gansta though who’d keep me draped in pearls
just cruising down Fifth Ave. with all those Seven Sister sisters
who have a ticket to ride in the publishing game, and me just pounding out
telegrams for the military on telex machines waiting until I can meet
somebody, I mean Somebody, who’ll take notice of my talent when I
run down to Lincoln Center or stand outside practice rooms at the Julliard.

Sometimes sneaking into the theaters at intermission, flirting up the ushers,
getting seats to watch the greats! I mean the real greats on those stages –
Long Days Journey Into Night, Streetcar Named Desire, The Long Hot Summer,
Picnic– and the great musicals, My Fair Lady, West Side Story,
(where Sondheim sucks up to Leonard Bernstein and gazes in adoration
at Jerry Robbins). Bopping down to the Village, listening to Baez and Dylan
just harmonizing with acoustics until after midnight when I find someone to
hit the Blue Note with, and dig Coltrane and Miles. Then to the drug store
where all the guys and gals from the Actors Studio scream lines from those
Williams and O’Neill plays, pages and secretaries there too, pretending not
to know if those guys are acting or really dangerous fools who’ll mug them
on the way down to the subway. And I just smilin’, and tappin’ my foot.
Not wanting to go back to my shared one room place on the Lower East Side.
Living in the Honeymooner’s apartment but weirder. A lot of pot being smoked
on the sidewalk but I remember Devil Weed and stick to liquor.

Slick Madison Avenue types slummin’ down the Village some nights telling us
they’d gone to Harvard, Yale, Brown…that’s the clue to those Mad liars..for
heaven’s sake, do they think I haven’t seen Where The Boys Are in high school,
that I’ll fall for some dumb line like Yvette Mimeux did. I know I’m no Dolores
Hart either. But then, she succumbed to a convent. Good grief, she could live
a Princess Grace life and she chooses a nunnery. Not for me, boy howdy, I’ll find ART
here in the city and do it my own way, like any Texas girl
livin’ loud, singin’ long…finding my niche…or letting it find me
and I’m sure they will all find me:
Warhol, Kerouac, Burroughs, Ginsberg, Sondheim, Previn, Sinatra…around
any corner, any day,
my chance,
my break’ll come.

© Gay Reiser Cannon * 2011 * All Rights Reserved

 

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27 thoughts on “Yeah, this never happened

  1. oh gay – this made my heart ache…must have been such a fantastic time…such a lot of things going on – would’ve loved to be there…miles, coltrane…i can not even imagine how it must feel to really hear them play live…now you ruined my peaceful evening with this…may have weird dreams tonight and take my sax with me to bed..smiles

  2. what a fantastical journey gay…what a life/experience that must have been…ah you have me pining for it…you will find your art…yes, i think you did…really enjoyable…will prbably come back to this one for more later…

  3. What a great voice you have in this one, I mean… I was in NY then, too. Queens to be exact. Just like Dolores Hart. Ha! Probably a good think. I might not have survived. This is such a good representation of the times.

  4. Full of life and plenty of Texas Rowdy, Gay–I’d say if you did just half of what you wrote, you don’t need any of those people to find you–you found your own self. Great poem, full of the feel of that time so long gone and myopically distorted by everyone who’s gone on to make a buck off it.

  5. Gay, I love this. It has the ring of truth, so I assume it was. I would have liked to have been right there with you! You know….I had friends who bought the condo formerly owned by Dick Clark. I visited them a few times. It was magic. New York is magic, past and present. I wanna go again. Your poem makes me WANT.

  6. There were two Meccas — Hollywood for fame, New York City for serious art — its obvious where your heart’s true North was… fine evocation of the moment of New York in the 60s, loud ‘n’ proud and everywhere at once … This reads like a rant, Ginsberg high and telling it exactly as it was, at street level … Fine write, Gay. – Brendan (p.s. I have a couple of New York City stories I’ll get to, eventually …)

  7. Ah, yes, Hollie Golightly, such a great character. My mom introduced me to many great films that came before my time, and I’m so glad she did. I’m still fascinated by them. The whole time seems so much more magical than anything I’ve experienced. Not many magical things left today.

  8. PMG!!! This so makes me miss NYC and going to the theater, singing in Washington Square Park, going to Lincoln Center Library (yeah, you don’t mention these thing, but your images remind me of my memories.) !!

  9. Long Day’s Journey Into Night is one of my all time favorites and I love how you brought NYC to life here. I’ve only been there twice and spent most of my time at the theater, art galleries, museums, and book stores :). I can hear your voice clearly over all the traffic noise of the city (which automatically starts as soon as I see NYC). Thank you.

  10. I don’t want to believe this didn’t happen to you.Hilarious in parts . You would have to know all the old movies to get this. I do. Fantastic poem..especially the bit about lurking around the practice rooms at Julliard…still smiling!

  11. Where the Boys Are (Dolores Hart/George Hamilton in addition to Yvette – that scene where she’s wandering dazed down the highway, then getting hit by the car, that one stuck in my head), and the O’Neill plays (I saw “Moon for the Misbegotten” at the Cort Theatre right off Times Square). I feel like I lived part of this poem. Good one, Gay.

  12. Whoa down there, Texarkana! you’re movin too fast! 😉 New York City Life….you’ve grabbed the essences for sure. Nice allusions to the many cinnamon stubs in the Big Apple.
    This is a good night-life tour with so many sights.

    The interesting thing here, is I’m hearing the ‘Shades’ of ‘past’ and not the present ‘Lights’….what/who/where are the Gems there today?

    (I had a crush on Dolores Hart when I was nineish…she had one on God. Oh well, can’t compete with him.)

    I like this story (Prose Fiction – the first I’ve run across here, but I’m a newbie too). Very Neat.
    Thank you for creating and sharing it.

    • Thank you for coming by – hmm – I think you must have clicked back on OLN. This was actually posted for Poetics this week when the topic was Andy Warhol and Pop Art. This was a response to that period, when it was called “the Golden Age” of Broadway and Manhattan. This was the era of the “New York School” of artists and the days when the most notable playwrights in the world were being produced on the Broadway stage. So that’s why this has nothing to do with Manhattan now.

      My post for today is here http://beachanny.blogspot.com – It’s called Autumn’s Beach Song.

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