Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The sunny side of rejection

The past week has been a fever dream of writing. Three poems worked on, which is something that has not happened in some time. I'm not saying they're good poems, but the accomplishment is more important.

In addition, another poem I submitted for an online journal earlier this year was rejected. So yay, feeling like a writer for a moment.

Two things motivated me to write one yesterday. First, a story about some long forgotten about Buster Keaton photographs which have surfaced and will be available for viewing at this year's Damfino Convention in October.

Then this article about how the Library of Congress is trying to get silent film buffs to identify actors and other film details. Film restoration and preservation fascinates me. I know little about the process but that there are few, so few, dedicated people doing this gives me hope. The future of silent film interest, that worries me.

So I wrote this one.

Empty reels

Black and white flickers still,
more often than not in pixels
The eyes of the stars had power
Their medium delicate, flammable
thrown into dumpsters
stored in unforgiving dampness
or left to crumble by dust making furnaces
Most is lost
Seventy percent of what was silent
eight thousand nickelodeon
pleasure dome features
Even the magazines, posters, lobby cards
dedicated to them have long vanished
Three thousand survived
This history, this portrait of the entertainment
our grandparents
our great-grandparents
did to keep themselves whole
is a Murnau shadow on Netflix
A keystone cop of disorganization on youtube
Our first celluloid culture
is dying of thirst
through lack of quality streams
Through viewer indifference
Tight fisted studios greenlighting
another superhero reboot
while avoiding preservation of its investments
Maybe Marty will keep saving them
Maybe they’ll make a sequel to The Artist
But with no audience
the only interest will be the museum pieces
the eight reelers of major players
With no strength of a supporting cast
that is quickly irising out.

No comments: