Queen of the Lot
When was the last time I watched The Letter—early ’40s film noir melodrama starring Miss Bette Davis? She shoots her lover, is acquitted, then gets stabbed to death at the end by her dead lover’s wife—played by the great Gale Sondergaard, who, as I recall, doesn’t say a word. A seething silent performance. Clouds moving across the full moon, moonlight filtering through slatted blinds—indelible black-and-white images, old Hollywood magic. When was the last time I read poems by John Wieners, who so often evokes the movie queens of yesteryear? Why, just this morning!
December 1, 2021