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   g h o s t s    o f    h o l l y w o o d

--- M A R T I N   O T T


In the Hollywood Forever Cemetery
late on Sunday night with gates sprung,
we enter a iron ribcage with pocked
fontanels, the sky a stained velvet robe.

A few hundred of us gather to watch "All About Eve," projected above tombstones and sepulchers, the screen dwarfing our blankets.

The blades of manicured grass poke through impromptu picnics draping Rudolf Valentino, Jayne Mansfield and John Huston.

Gangster Bugsy Siegel lies here, dreaming of cameras shooting Vegas in a neon crime spree, while wind whistles playfully over Mel Blanc,

with the epitaph, "Thatís All Folks." In the filmís blank spaces we giggle at our raspy icons who still float, Hollywood stars beneath their feet.

Paramount rises majestically behind us, the way all studios and cemeteries here are butted against one another, pale lovers joined in cinematic wash.

On the screen, tin pan and sharp barbs huddle us in unactable unrest. We hide under wool and flesh in this fortress of tiny performers, giant shades.

© crossconnect, inc 1995-2005 |
published in association with the |
university of pennsylvania's kelly writers house |