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Monday, July 5, 2010

Happy Birthday, Bob Evans...


Happy Birthday, Bob Evans...


just a kid in a world far away from home
sweep, run, watch, listen, hustle, move
doing the shuffle into the tinsel world
looking for work that finds you like
a quick upper cut when you are
not looking but leaves you
in a lurch when you want
it so bad you know you
need it so bad to get
back on your feet
get well so you
can get better
so badly

it is the hollywood hamster wheel that keeps
turning and turning until there is nothing
but nubs where feet and legs used to be
as toothless mouths with scotch breath
tell you what it was like when the studio
still called all the shots and checks
came in the mail and people came
in each others mouths and coke
came in wax paper seals that
opened onto pearly packets
of white wisdom that was
brighter than the bright
lights that burned out
the celluloid dreams
of all the big wheel
big shots who had
big stars on the
big lot of their
big minds

it is all changed now
like a serpent that has
been eating its tail and now
it is throwing itself up all over
the backseat of the broken down
limo from sunset blvd. (1950) as it is
not quite ready for its close up and who
the fuck is mr. de mille anyway?

they have fixed most of the cracks in the sidewalk
to make room for more stars than ever as people
still come out to look at the celebrated paving of
smashed lives that have become the dust of stars
that used to be but now never were

the old man turns 80 today and I wish him well
I used to show up for work at the paramount lot
hoping to see him more than any so-called star
when I was just a youngster
I always wished he would pick me
to write the next midnight cowboy
marathon man love story script
(I had to forgive him for the
godfather thing he did)
as I wandered in and out of the
shadowed nights on the boulevard
of broken screams and busted sirens
secretly stuffing my pockets at craft service
every time I worked another job on set
right before I left the lot so I could feed a few
more runaway bellies in that stark hollywood
nighttime of crowded loneliness between
all the well lit boulevards taking
lost souls on the never ending
journey from east to west

it kept me going, kept me in the game
I learned every trick and talent and skill
that I could from guys like evans
the main one being to never
give up for no one or nothing
I keep fighting to come back from
what seems like certain sudden
death with no overtime
cringing as I anticipate
the final buzzer
on the shot clock

I am on set today
in a house above the strip
on N doheny, above sunset plaza
crack of dawn until way past dark
humping props around set with
kids more than half my age

the truth of the coke has been
exposed as a lie long ago
the studio died as bob buried
it and the investment bankers
he fronted for have killed the rest

we both had lovers who fell prey
to suicide and murder cloaked
in a booze soaked haze of drug
induced deliriums that brought
our hastily built homes down
all around our heavily
medicated
heads

we both had wives who
left us for their mcqueen
as we were in separate
cities of gold and dust
only difference was
he will always be
the kid they said
had to stay in
the picture

soon they will bury him
soon they will bury me, too
there is a certain guarantee
that we both have that one
coming for us
coming for all
of us
for so many we have known
how quickly it has already
come upon them

we both still think
we got one more day
left in us
as the sun burns off
another marine layer
as another kid gets
a dead end job
in a dead in world
that promises so much
to so few even though
so many still believe
it might be them
that gets the shot
on this day
in this town

the truth,
it turns out,
is the picture
stays
long after
the kid is
gone

it only needs
a new kid to
keep the
picture
getting
made

a new kid is born
every couple
of seconds

the kid wants
a new picture
but can never
stay in one
longer than
a ghost can
stay in a
a frame of
another
memory
that comes by
24 times in
every second

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