Bio Note: I am continuing to work on my ambitious history of jazz in the 1950s and '60s, Listening to Prestige, and have thrown myself into a newly rediscovered pursuit, fiber art—making hooked rugs and wall hangings. After a couple of decades of focusing my visual art energy on digital painting, it's a nice change to be working with real materials again.
The Bacon Suit
Officials at Marlborough declined to respond to queries about the Bacon suit... NY Times I can tell, though, and I will, because I did the beta testing. Those were my shirts the fat soaked through, and though the officials at Marlborough paid for laundry, starch and pressing, they’d never spring for haberdashery expenses, and the stains never came out. Worse, the clammy suet against my genitals perversely evoked the... never mind. The officials at Marlborough won’t talk about that, and neither will I. It caused rashes, too. Depends solved the problem. In the budget it’s “Miscellaneous.” After a sultry summer day in St. Louis with the poets Donald Finkel and David Clewell, who had been brought in as consultants by the officials at Marlborough, The suit began to spatter and pop. Clewell was nearly struck in the eye by a globule of hot fat. the suit grew stiff and ill-fitting, couldn’t be ironed. The project was dropped. Officials at Marlborough decline comment. But I miss the delicate pattern, the way birds perched on my shoulder, and dogs followed me licking at my ankles.
--When are Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan going to make another of those wonderful romantic comedies, like Sleepless in Seattle or You’ve Got Mail? --Tom and Meg will certainly be looking for scripts they can do together. But meanwhile, they each have projects going on their own. They’ll both be going in front of the cameras in biopics—Tom playing Dean Martin, while Meg does the life of Sylvia Plath. Give up those adorable Tom and Meg romances? It’s too much to ask. And there’s a better way. Sylvia loses the Mademoiselle competition. To make it up, her parents take her for a week in Havana. She meets Dino--handsome, gifted, unfulfilled. She tells him he needs a partner, a wisecracker, zany—“What about you, sweetheart?” Dean asks, eyes twinkling. Her parents take her back to Boston. She’s shoved into Wellesley, Lowell, poetry, Ted Hughes, and Dean meets Jerry, who looks sort of like Sylvia, without her vivacious wit. Life pulls them apart, their chance at happiness lost…forever? It looks that way for Sylvia. One day, she decides to end it all. She goes to turn on the gas jet, but by mistake, hits the radio, hears, through the static, Everybody loves somebody sometime…Dean! He’s playing the Albert Hall, with Jerry! She leaves Ted and his mistress minding the kids, she takes a cab, gets backstage to find Dean in his dressing room, a gun to his head. She pries it gently from his fingers. They talk all night, walking beside the Thames. Dean tells her he can’t stand another night with Jerry. They’ve found each other. Jerry goes off to France, Dean and Sylvia head for Vegas, where he teaches her how to laugh again, she writes new material for him, brings a touch of profundity to his act: When a boot hits your eye like a big Nazi spy that’s a Daddy… It’s a happy ending for Sylvia, and there’s a lesson to be learned for all of us:
©2020 Tad Richards
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