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.
Love this so much!