My Life at the Movies

Go to the movies you selfish dreamer
my first boyfriend would tell me
and I felt bad           
                     and beautiful.

In my 20s, I found Goddard,
Truth comes, 24 frames per second;
cinema saved his life,
                     bolstered mine
with poetry and a love of the unexpected.

                     What do you call it
when you phone a friend
from the Rez, say you’re not gonna
make the NY film festival, hang up,
go camping in Utah, end up escaping the smoke
from a fire a world away,
                     only to find yourself
                     in Telluride, Colorado -
                     at the movies?

I see Swingers, buy an Alexis Smith post card,
nearly trip over Andy Stein in a tourist shop,
and photograph Oliver Assayas,
                     whom I mistake
for a grown Jean Pierre-Leaud.

I practice in French what I would say to him,
how he changed my life with 400 Blows,
                     but I have the wrong man.
Years later, when Assayas
makes an autobiographical film,
who does he cast to play himself?
                     Jean-Pierre Leaud!

In the cinema,
                     there are no mistakes,
                     just destiny.

Kharakter   c-prints on archival board
Copyright 2005, Carolyn Krieg

Copyright 2011,  Lynne Shapiro

Lynne Shapiro’s poems and essays have been published in the United States and Europe.  Her work has been included in Eating Her Wedding Dress: A Collection of Clothing Poems (Ragged Sky Press),   Decomposition: An Anthology of Fungi Inspired Poems (Lost Horse Press), and Pain and Memory (Editions Bibliotekos).  She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2009.  She lives in Hoboken, NJ, with her husband.

<< Previous      Contents      Next   >>