The Night I Met Reincarnated Andy Warhol at Bonnie’s Bar & Grill in Fairview Park, Ohio

Weirdly, he skipped the soup

The Night I Met Reincarnated Andy Warhol at Bonnie’s Bar & Grill in Fairview Park, Ohio
Photo by Jon Tyson / Unsplash

by Bob King

He ordered a margarita in a kitschy plastic cactus glass—of course salted rim—& had the deep fried perch platter. Weirdly, he skipped the soup, & the whole evening Frida Kahlo sat in the corner, menacingly staring at us, forking her cobb salad to her mouth from a bowl fashioned out of a bedazzled human skull, & honestly, we thought we’d have more company, but Hopper walked in, surveyed the scene, muttered, Too crowded, & left. Pollock got booted for again tossing his spaghetti at the wall & we couldn’t get Duchamp out of the Men’s Room. Lord only knows what he & Mapplethorpe were doing in there. We’ll never know why the one patron at bar’s end had Billy Joel’s “The Downeaster Alexa” on jukebox repeat or why Dali’s spoons bent, wilted, melted, while O’Keeffe rearranged the single flower centerpieces, told patrons to look closely & pay attention if you want to get anywhere in this world, satisfaction a combination of generosity, delicacy, & patience. Surrender to something greater than yourself, she urged, & we all gaped in awe, the way only the profound can leave one apelike dumbstruck. Needing some fresh air, after making a brief argument that most things can, in fact, be black & white, Ansel Adams hit the road & just then Frank O’Hara burst in with his buddy Mike Goldberg who carried a bag of ORANGES, ordered SARDINES, & Frank whispered, This would be so much better if everyone in here was gay & wanted to love me, but he whispered it in a way that was clearly meant to be heard, if you know what I mean. Rothko again stacked his cheese blocks, Monet squinted, & Magritte— pissed about the lack of a No Smoking sign—hid behind his apple most of the evening. Frankenthaler gestured wildly at Hartigan, Basquiat over there spray painted his steak, & we didn’t see him, but all of the sudden we noticed Banksy’s self-portrait graffitied on the back wall. Life’s about two things, said Man Ray, adjusting his camera pointed at sultriness in the corner booth, First, it’s all about editing yourself once you’ve opened yourself up to possibility, & second, & this is very, very important—Kiki, love, can you please be more, oh, je ne sais quoi, can you be more violin?—life is about Well I can’t actually tell you what it’s about.

Bob (he/him/his) is a Professor of English at Kent State University at Stark. His poetry collection And & And is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press in August 2024, & another collection, And/Or, is forthcoming in September 2025. Recent nominations include 3 for Pushcart Prizes (from LEON Literary Review, The Hooghly Review, & Paddler Press) & 2 for Best of the Net Anthology (from Blue Flame Review & The Gorko Gazette). He lives in Fairview Park, Ohio, with his wife & daughters. X/Twitter: @KingRobertJ Website: