love of ava

of all the Hollywood starlets, there is one I adore above all others. my love affair with Ava Gardner began long ago for many reasons. she cried when Hollywood painted out her cleft chin. she didn’t take her appearance seriously. she never trusted her talent. she drank with Hemingway. she lived life without pretense. she lived life. she really lived life. I treasure the lyrics to old man river. Sinatra. she lived on after a devastating stroke. she’s always reminded me of my mom.

(cropped image-couldn’t find photographer name to give credit)

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five-cent pump; a murder mystery

queue red pump
a hand-painted sign reads 5 cents
that’s where the bloodstained diamond ring is found
not the body, she’s missing

a long rubber tube reaches into a black hulking car
with a grimacing silver grill
and a great shadow-casting hood ornament

designed by Jimmy Durante
that’s what I read in a retro diner somewhere
off route 46, maybe it was I95
fade to dim office

clanking Royal typewriters
swinging low lights
and leggy secretaries
dumb but smokin’
the night moon is pushing through slotted blinds
golden diagonals dramatically cut across dark green desk blotters
amber bottles are stashed in low metal drawers

a chisel-jawed guy smacks his fist
a nearby detective swizzles on a straw
like the red pump
except it’s a lot shorter
it only has to reach his curling lips
he’s clanking murder motives together
like the ice chips in his tumbler
if the clues were more cerebral

and less like the obscene-sized hood ornament
or the bad comb-over toupee
Don Morzellio wears to look good for Gina
who cares only about the bulge in his pants
the back pocket, not the front
the show would have to run much longer
the intense detective gulps down his bourbon
he’s figured out who dun it
the mystery parceled together
while drinking and making small talk with the sexy secretary

cracked windshield, blood-splattered ring, paid rat
and exaggerated theme music
woman with straw hat black lady jane created a few weeks back