Saturday, December 31, 2011

This is the One Hotel I Know: Donald Rawley

THIS IS THE ONE HOTEL I KNOW: DONALD RAWLEY -- I've had the good fortune to meet and know many writers here in Hollywood over the years.  But no writer has quite replaced Donald Rawley who passed untimely in 1998, for he was unique among writers, if one can say that of a writer.  He was obsessed by Hollywood and Los Angeles, as if this town was his mistress -- and in a way it was, for he knew every story behind every story, he knew who was with who and why, he knew the back streets, the hidden bungalows, the lanes hidden by palm tree shadows.  And he wrote with such passion that one was amazed by his prolific output.  His deep, smokey voice oozed with a mix of knowingness and eroticism when he did live readings -- which I attended on many occasions.  I knew Donald for many years and was deeply saddened by his passing.  His books -- all based on love, lust and desire in Tinseltown for the most part -- are hard to find -- he never did make it big in the way that he deserved.  But here is one of my favorite poems by him (other than the epic "Mulholland Drive") -- for Donald was no stranger to the famed Chateau Marmont on Sunset Boulevard -- as was many a writer in search of love, fame, desire and more back in the days when the hotel was still a secret hideaway for whoever needed hiding away.