Anne Beatts (February 25, 1947–April 7, 2021)

photo of Anne Beatts by Mikul Robins — collage by the author

forward-moving
a life of action
visions come in flashes
sometimes scenes

I was in an awe of your past
the work,
the awards,
the company you had kept
you, the writer
you, the observer
you, the participant
you, in the thick of it
you made a life — from laughs
and you had the balls
to be a woman while doing it
yes, I was in awe of your past

and then I was gifted with your presence
in the present

I pitch a sketch and you scrunch up your face and say,
That’s not funny. What else you got?
then you have more wine
then I have more wine
then we all have more wine
in the early aughts, the drug of choice had mellowed into fermented grapes, crackers
and cheese
lots of cheese

your West Hollywood home
our creative core
one of us had a shot at SNL
— an audition,
a call back — an audition tape
he was headed for New York!
but first, a pack of hopeful actors
crawl into your bed
we watch together
wrapped up in a blanket of envy and delight
it was cozy

we write a show
we never do the show

forward-moving
a life of action
visions come in flashes

a child bursts onto the scene now
a fully formed human — walking around, owning the world
owning you
you are smitten
your heart expands to greet her
you are side by side,
always side by side
you will walk her through her childhood

for almost two decades
we will have our moments of
smooshed faces for
endless selfies
reflections of
infinite tchotchkes
heaps of books
panettone filled christmases
each year I will touch your emmy for good luck

forward-moving

I will hear your big stories
performed in small theatres
in essay and poetic forms
I will ask you questions, and you will answer
you always answer, with no hesitation
you are never stingy with your stories

a life of action

you come to my shows,
to my homes,
various homes,
various husbands,
various boyfriends
and you tell me you like the best one — the best
(me too)
as you take in the art at one of my exhibits you scrunch up your face and say,
have you ever thought of choosing one style?
you are the character breakdown that reads,
A no-nonsense woman who tells it like it is.
you make up for it later with praise
which lands in me stronger and stays

visions come in flashes

and after so much living
it will still feel
like not enough
for all of us
it’s too abrupt
this hasty exit
too early
for this goodnight

I like to imagine you now
approaching the pearly gates
Saint Peter turns to you to speak
but you will stop him short,
and you will scrunch up your face and say,
This isn’t funny. What else you got?

Former Dating Game Show Host. Current Author, TV/Film/VO Actor & Artist. Enthusiasm Enthusiast. 🥳 Care to support the arts? https://ko-fi.com/anniewood

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