in and out of the dark
my wife likes movie houses, the popcorn and soft drinks, the
settling into seats, she finds a child's delight in
this and I am happy for her---but really, I myself, I must have
come from another place, I must have been a mole in another
life, something that burrowed and hid alone:
the other people crowded in the seats, near and far, give me
feelings that I dislike; it's stupid, maybe, but there it
is; and then
there's the darkness and then the
giant human faces, bodies, that move about on the screen, they
speak and we
of one hundred movies there's one that's fair, one that's good
and ninety eight that are very bad.
most movies start badly and steadily
if you can believe the actions and speech of
you might even believe that the popcorn you chew also
has a meaning of
(well, it might be that people see so many movies
that when they finally see one not
so bad as the others, they think it's
great. an Academy Award means that you don't stink
quite as much as your cousin.)
the movie ends and we are out in the street, moving
toward the car; "well," says my wife, "it wasn't as
good as they say."
"no," I say, "it wasn't."
"there were a few good parts, though," she replies.
"yeah," I answer.
we are at the car, get in, then I am driving us out
of that part of town; we look around at the night;
the night looks good.
"you hungry?" she asks.
we stop at a signal; I watch the red light;
I could eat that red light---anything, anything at
all to fill the void; millions of dollars spent to create
something more terrible then the actual lives of
most living things; one should never have to pay an
admission to hell.
the light changes and we escape,
[from The Last Night of the Earth Poems (1992), Black Sparrow Press