Joseph O'Brien 9 a.m., April 26
Mercedes de Acosta: playwright and novelist who also wrote of her Hollywood affairs with Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich
She was never afraid to flaunt her sexual proclivities
- Through the window-pane I see your face,
- Its outline a little vague
- In the dimness of the shadow.
- But the whiteness of your skin
- Is like a clean ship’s sail,
- Standing out in the darkness of a night.
- And your eyes, I see them like two golden bowls,
- With the rays of a thousand moonbeams sweeping over them.
- As I pass out into the blackness,
- I wonder if I have ever really known you—
- Or if you exist at all,
- And are not but a twisted, fevered, silver creation of my brain.
- And the unreality of you comes over me,
- Like a mist upon a lonely sea.
- There is not a leaf grown,
- Not a breeze that’s blown,
- Not a sweet fragrant tree,
- That is not you to me.
- In the sunlight I feel your smile,
- In the moonlight, the whole long while,
- I feel the pressure of your hand,
- And feeling this I understand.
- I understand all sacred things,
- The depths of life, the secret wings
- That carry beyond the dreary way,
- Turning dark to light, and night to day.
- All things fine, and straight, and true,
- I know better because of you;
- While your sweetness is like a warm fresh shower,
- And your face and soul like a sun-kissed flower.
- After everyone had left,
- It was always so wonderful sitting in the dark theatre with you.
- There was a mystery about it,
- As though the echo of many plays
- Still lingered in the folds of the curtain,
- While phantom figures crouched low in the chairs,
- Beating applause with vapor hands.
- Do you remember how we always sat silently?
- I would shut my eyes to feel your closeness nearer.
- Then slowly and like a ritual
- I would take your hand,
- And you would laugh a little and say,
- “My hands are awfully sticky”—or
- “I can’t seem to keep my hands clean in this theatre.”
- As if that mattered … as if that mattered …