Change one letter and get Charlie Chaplin
attending the lovely blind girl
silently amid statues, prize-fight rings,
one for sleeping, the other for money,
and he gets neither. City Lights
is no movie to the damned of the earth.
Laugh it up, Mister Moneybags,
men are no better than horses,
but if you doubt me browse Das Kapital.
Before San Francisco was Seattle,
the great flamenco guitarists
Carlos Montoya, Andres Segovia
there to be heard downtown in that order.
Tempest Storm arrived, shaking her red mane,
tall, dancing naked with pendulous breasts.
She filled the big room at the Ben Franklin
Hotel, too many gawking eyes to count.
Cut to Manhattan’s Dakota Hotel.
You dreamed John Lennon died, shot in the head.
Seven years later, it happened.
No need to dream of Rosemary’s Baby.
The devil enters women from below,
why should Mia Farrow be otherwise
detained save to bear Lucifer’s children . . .
Everyone but me had seen the movie
the night Paula and I went with James and Debbie
to the drive-in. I was always in love
with Paula, before we met and married
even. Yet I had been in love too much.
We had a year. She saved my life. We left,
she before me. I went off to get lost.
Only the wretched among us could see
as one said, You’re play-acting, another
remarking my viciousness. Why? I asked.
No answer. No moon. No wind, no thunder.
(14 March 2013)
copyright 2013 by Floyce Alexander