The following is a collection of poems I finished writing a year ago. I am now posting the collection since its release is no longer restrained by other obligations. Each poem centers around a film.
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Vivre sa vie: Film en douze tableaux (1962), Jean-Luc Godard
the street for a time,
Joan. Locked, she’s cracked, by
tears of Falconetti,
those paintings in cinema
created by seers, spirits who
personate illusionists, but not
Nana. No, she is genuine, for when
porcelain breaks, the pieces never
lie. But the image fades away,
and she parts the cinema,
leaving the shattered bits
behind. Back on the
street, she shuts the
Werckmeister harmóniák (2000), Béla Tarr
poet. It lives not
in the thin man, but in
his supple mind, and it sings
light’s anthem, but is innocent
of the lightless. There rests Prince Umbra
against the wall, waiting for Youth to come
and see him open the fourth seal, eat his fruit
and understand, feel the neglect between the stones,
but mortar and brick become one in the dark, and the
Prince realizes that Youth must meet his brother, the mob
called Penumbra. He sits Youth down to watch him release his kin.
Antumbra weeps. The tears stain Youth’s palms without his knowing,
and he looks down to her blood that clots, the ache that shifts
the salt from his eyes. Once diffuse, now a harsh light,
but he cannot sing of it; the salt is in
his throat. A hand is offered to Youth. He
mutely accepts, walks past Antumbra
who cries seeing Youth will never
fulfill her commissioned psalms.
He’s taken to a ward,
far from the wall, the
mortar... and far
from that grand
Le notti di Cabiria (1957), Federico Fellini
man’s horde of
spirited skin of
a proud proprietress,
the gull of our noxious world,
Cabiria. There above the
tides that crash below the terminus…
her maestro. He converses with Nana’s
enfant terrible, plays the casual game, wants to
enact the seer’s animus: limn the bound vestal
in telling light, relieving a doxy ignorant
in the afterbirth. A spurious hypnotist, perhaps
influenced by the collective’s amniotic anima,
beckons Cabiria to his stage. Ersatz distaste paints her face.
Cut. Then... life turns on for a moment. A brunette girl with high hopes and
little prescience takes the stage with her eyes closed, but she sees a friend and
is made sincere. Never animated, never before, O simple times... Cut.
The outside is cold. Pretense greets her at the door. It takes the girl and cuts her hair.
It hides her locks in its bed. It goes by a name that begs for trust. And she falls
for it. A long fall from little to nothing, short fall from here to the muck.
Bleed her! Slice her eyes! Scalp her perception! Slit her chest, look at her heart!
Pretense shrivels in its freedom. With caitiff sight, the maggot counts
seventeen half steps down the cliff to its accosting post where
victims’ expectations are not as grimly pleading… I
plead you! Slink not away! Seal the end, lend me rest! Fade...
Cabiria wipes deception’s dirt from her eyes
and drifts, consoling what the eidolon left.
She comes along her maestro playing a
requiem for naiveté, but
as she approaches, it cuts through
compunctious lamenting, fir-
to bond over our
La passion de Jeanne d’Arc (1928), Carl Th. Dreyer
With hand, she lied,
guided by those men
who prattle fallacies.
O, is a sibyl’s tool not
of the mouth or a Lied not hymned?
Fools who asphyxiate the heavens
and indulge pejorative luxuries
are given callous blades, one of which lets tufts
fall from grim lines etched in the kepi-nude scalp of
the doubting maiden. What has she done? Renounced the God
who trusted her? Her eyes plead the ground for absolution…
In the air, two words are written. She grasps them. Ses voies… They un-
wind: Ses voies ne sont pas nos voies. Indeed, His ways are not,
and in deed, she has denied them. And to rectify
her guided hand, she must forswear her former self,
and by doing so, she is forsworn. Only
choice. True choice. Cradle the seven words as
she is taken to the stake. Heat, heat,
O, the heat. Careful not to burn
the words, six is not enough.
She’s now not present, co-
eval, Walkman drips
down her leg. She
speaks with Him,
Au hasard Balthazar (1966), Robert Bresson
betrayed by those
he loved. Pasture to
pasture, he wandered, up
until the day he found them,
the sheep, innocent, ignorant.
As his poor, abused life lies dying,
the sheep crowd, just watching, all with blank stares,
unaware of the viscous red streams,
slow inhalation, final breath.
The sheep leave. He’s once again
without body. No need.
Here for them, yet they
do not think him