Rent a Beatnik
Gerald Williams asked Ted Joans about his memory of Elizabeth Taylor. "Oh, ya," Ted commenced, "that was when I started the 'Rent a Beatnik' business. Upscale party throwers could have folks like me and Gregory Corso attend their blasts for a fee. We helped to break the ice, provide momentum, add color.... It wasn't a bad deal: we got money, free food, a chance to recite our poetry, sell a painting, blow some horn...maybe even cadge a little Park Avenue pussy on the side...."
"What about Elizabeth Taylor?"
"Oh, she was just there...one of the guests. It was during her Eddie Fisher period. He was there, too. It was in a loft. She said she liked my poetry a lot, even bought one of my chapbooks. A beautiful person, a real person. Nothing phony about her at all."
---Massachusetts Review Vol XLVI, No. 2