For a Friend Somewhere in France by Elizabeth Iannaci

Art credit - Elizabeth Stark

Art credit – Elizabeth Stark

Elizabeth Iannaci was born in New Haven, shares a birthday with Red China, Julie Andrews, Jimmy Carter, two of her college roommates (which was always challenging when getting carded) and the anniversary of Roger Maris’s 61st homer.  Though she grew up in Southern California, she’s never been on a surfboard.  She could, however, spin a Hula Hoop continuously while drinking a glass of water.   At 15 she was an Á go go dancer for Warden and the Fugitives, a local garage band. She learned to change the points, plugs and condenser on most American cars.  Sadly, today’s cars no longer have them.  She played drums in a girl band and can still play a mean paradiddle.   As a teenager Elizabeth designed and sewed her own clothes and is proud to say she once made an outfit out of draperies before reading (or seeing the film version of) Gone With the Wind.  She hitchhiked across country with her first husband and on the way bartered a bottle of Hai Karate aftershave for two ZagNut candy bars and a pack of Winstons, then hitched a ride from a guy who hocked his teeth for a bottle of whiskey. In the mid-seventies, she was an assistant to Led Zeppelin before giving in to the lure of Poetry (where the real money is).  Along the way she made her living as a singer/actor/Marilyn Monroe look-alike and also portrayed an array of characters including Snow White, Madonna, and Vina, the “Green Girl” from Star Trek.  She designed a line of greeting cards, the most popular of which was a drawing of a toilet with a rainbow going into the bowl.  Inside were the words Sorry things didn’t turn out.  A fortune-teller once saw lots of money in her future, but failed to say whose money it would be—no coincidence that she’s been the check-writer or treasurer for most of the organizations to which she’s belonged.  She has traveled to Canada, England, France, Germany, Slovenia, Turkey, India, Japan and 40 out of 50 states in the US without getting arrested (please knock on wood), and can usually learn how to ask Where is the bathroom/water closet/toilet/loo/facilities? Oh, yes, Elizabeth writes poetry, earned her MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and occasionally writes letters on paper that are still delivered by humans.

The Real Me. (Actually a Hubble spacecraft photo of the Cat's Eye Nebula, 1995)

The Real Me. (Actually a Hubble spacecraft photo of the Cat’s Eye Nebula, 1995)

Pet Shop Mural corner of Olympic & LaBrea (Really!)

Pet Shop Mural corner of Olympic & LaBrea (Really!)

Yes, I've Got It Right Here (photo of Elizabeth Iannaci)

Yes, I’ve Got It Right Here (photo of Elizabeth Iannaci)

Street Smart

Street Smart

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4 thoughts on “For a Friend Somewhere in France by Elizabeth Iannaci

  1. Just woke up and it was wonderful to read such a life affirning poem. And coincidentally, I also share a half-birthday on April Fool’s Day.

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