Published: July 25, 2011 [49 copies]
[ S O L D O U T ]
A native Californian now living off the coast of Long Island, Celeste Gainey holds a BFA in film & television from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and an MFA in creative writing/poetry from Carlow University. The first woman to be admitted to the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees as a gaffer in 1974, she has spent her professional life in the fields of motion picture and architectural lighting design.
Tail o’ the Cock
Where the Margarita made its debut.
There was one on La Cienega,
another on Ventura Blvd in the Valley.
Neon feathers animating up, then down,
the booze always on the rocks, the steak,
onion rings on top, an Idaho,
baked in gold tinfoil, swelling
sour cream & chives, on the side.
You might stop before the long drive home.
Pretty boy valets in cropped red jackets
tempt you out in the porte-cochere.
Inside–a moment–dusk sifts in,
the maitre d’ at his podium, little pillow of light
on his face, oversize menus, flocked covers,
tassels swinging, he ushers you into the low-
ceilinged labyrinth; lodge of plush booths tucked
into nocturnal alcoves,
glow of tiny table lanterns bearding
the famous faces. Everyone here
to be seen, but hiding:
the men look like Vic Damone,
manicured nails, silk suits & alligator loafers;
the women like Angie Dickinson,
too blonde, too beautiful, too smart for him.
Two tables over, a crown of fire–
the Cherries Jubilee has been served.
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- Please click here to order Celeste’s much-anticipated full-length collection, The Gaffer.