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Dinner With Andy Warhol
Sherry Shahan on Chelsea Girls.
Dinner Party, Hotel Chelsea, 1980.
Bottles of Bolla, Red Valpolicella
bought with silk on an absent mile.
Faeries slice French bread, crusts
of necessity; dead creatures baked in foil.
Warhol wears pale blonde, floppy, parted;
his cheeks polished in fond de teint.
Rounded crystal glass frames.
Burroughs, off the junk,
varnished in pearl.
Nico—a skein of scars
in song, “Chelsea Girls”:
"Here's Room 506
It's enough to make you sick
Bridget's all wrapped up in foil
You wonder if she can uncoil . . ."
An eight minute, thirteen-second section of “Chelsea Girls” plays in the background during a dinner party:
WARHOL (black suit, tie; headphone wires dangle): This is the first time I ever had *hair.
NICO (off-stage): Hair?
WARHOL: Um, yeah, I mean it’s really good.
GUEST (off-stage) What kind of hair is it?
GUESTS (simultaneous, off-stage): It’s a rabbit.
GUEST (off-stage): What is the official name of the meal?
NICO: Well it’s a hare.
WARHOL: Where did you find a rabbit?
NICO: . . . I had to order it.
GUEST (off-stage): Can you tell me exactly what chicken fried steak actually is made of?
BURROUGHS (sets down glass of wine): Well it’s just a thin slice of steak, uh, breaded, breaded and fried very quickly.
GUEST (off-stage): Why does it taste like mush?
BURROUGHS: Well, it depends on what they start with . . . . how it tastes. What I particularly like is the biscuits and gravy. (Picks up glass)
WARHOL: Gee, I never had chicken fried steak. It sounds like a good idea.
*Hare, not hair.
Human, not fur.
Mousy-brown in the 1950s,
then two-toned yellow-blond,
an underlay of cocoa. Uncombed,
ratted, sprayed with Sassoon.
An original by Paul Hairpiece,
147 W. 42 St., N.Y.
2 Hairpieces $850
An artist is somebody who produces things people don’t need to have ~ Andy Warhol
Sherry Shahan earned an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts and taught a creative writing course for UCLA for 10 years.
Andy Warhol (1928-1987) was an American visual artist best known for his contributions to the pop art movement. Chelsea Girls was Warhol’s first major commercial success.