On the day that we've lost Elizabeth Taylor, I offer an excerpt from Gail Wronsky's poem, "Cirque du Liz and Dick Puerto Vallarta" from my anthology Ava Gardner: Touches of Venus.
It's treats the time she spent as a hanger-on on the set of the 1964 film Night of the Iguana, directed by John Huston and starring her then-husband Richard Burton, Ava, Deborah Kerr, and Sue Lyon:
"Cirque du Liz and Dick Puerto Vallarta"
Here it’s all La Vida no vale nada.
Life is worth nothing.
Part of her is sorry she became
a public utility.
Part of him wants to do Hamlet again.
But he feels closer to Claudius,
Marrying so quickly on top of the death
of the other marriage. A woman
is like glass, they say here:
always in danger.
they’ve renamed the town Seething –
They still have that feeling of antenna –
a quivering contact with each other.
Above her head she poses
another spray of artificial roses,
making him think of a novelty rodeo act
he saw a very long time ago in Wales.