Today would have been Elizabeth Taylor’s 90th birthday. I grew up seeing her on TV, in the movies, and in magazines. Her on-again/off-again marriage to Richard Burton was impossible to ignore – they were always making news. I wasn’t really a fan, it’s just that she was a huge star so she was everywhere. I read this piece in Lit Hub that started me thinking about her and her movies. The only two I’ve seen in their entirety are Giant and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Actually, I’ve seen Giant numerous times and it’s one of my all-time favorite movies (even though I’m not a fan, lol). I love, love, love the “caveman” speech and mentally cheer every time I watch it. Liz’s character, Leslie, was way ahead of her time. We rarely see strong women depicted in movies made in the 50’s. I’m not really much of a fan of 50’s popular culture. It was my husband who introduced me to Giant back in the ‘80’s, as one of his mother’s favorites. The Lit Hub article reminded me of a poem I wrote years ago with a nod to Maggie the Cat in Cat On a Hot Tin Roof. (I mean, who doesn’t love Tennessee Williams plays?!) I thought it might be a good day to share it.
Happy birthday, Liz! Meow…..
All I want on a Sunday morning is to
luxuriate in my laziness. I want to watch
old movies with the volume turned up loud,
the newspaper crackling as I shift my supine
body on the couch, the words of duplicitous
politicians and photos of narcissistic socialites
mashed under my ass.
I want to gaze out my window where heat
rises on the street like steam from a gumbo
pot while I lie, cool as a nectar cream snowball,
in my Maggie The Cat slip, painting my toenails
a color called Bad Influence.
I would sip Southern Wedding Cake coffee
from the chipped china cup I knocked off
the bedside table in a moment of
passion and savor a fresh chocolate croissant,
tender flakiness that melts on the tongue like
vampires melt in the sunlight.
As the sun climbs the sky, I’d meander into the afternoon
with the expectation of an early summer storm when
we would go upstairs and slip between our cool, white
sheets and not be heard from again until
Published in The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature in 2012.