I am as full of sinning as Mack the Knife –
I am as full of carelessness as Falstaff –
I am as full of idiocy as Juliet on that balcony –
I am as full of mistakes as Ahab –
As full of go-scratch-yourself as Huck –
As full of look-my-way! as Marilyn –
As full of dare-you stare-you-down chicanery as Bette Davis –
As full of rapacity as Sean Connery’s Bond –
As full of blindness as Chaplin’s blind girl –
As soft as Jean Harlow’s cheek –
As pained as Monty Clift’s eyes –
As tough, on a good day, as Bogie, John Garfield and Randolph Scott put together,
and John Wayne personally taught me to walk the gunfighter’s walk –
Besides which I am the definitive authority on how come
no one’s ever made a good movie of Don Quixote –
I seek to be Charles Boyer in Arch of Triumph or Spencer Tracy in anything
and to be even half as smart as John Cassavetes –
I’m baffled as Buster Keaton, and I’m very lucky
because Mabel Normand reminds me very much of my wife –
I believe I was in the band at Rick’s in Casablanca,
the horn-player who looks at Rick, Rick nods, and the band plays La Marseillaise!
Young Gary Cooper was a Montana cowboy decades before High Noon.
The actress on the trapeze in Wings of Desire has died.
Everybody in this poem has died (except my wife and me, and we shall).
I’m prancing about like Marcello Mastroianni saying goodbye to all in 8½!
May I die to the music of Nino Rota and Ennio Morricone!
I’m William Holden in The Wild Bunch when he says, “Let’s go” –
and I’m Warren Oates saying back, “Why not?” –
I’m The Lady From Shanghai’s Rita Hayworth shooting murderously at mirrors –
I’m A Nun’s Story’s Audrey Hepburn stepping with her small valise into another life –
I’m the deaf kid in Out Of The Past who knows there’s no end to the story –
And I’m that City Lights blind girl, all cured now, seeing Charlie at last
and I can’t believe my eyes –
New Year’s Eve
Michael Ventura © 2018. All rights reserved.
Michael Ventura is a writer who lives in the mountains of Northern California.
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