Issue 124, Fall 1992
Matinées are the best time
for bad movies—squad cars
spewing orange flame, the telephone
dead in the babysitter’s hand.
Glinting with knives and missiles,
men stalk through the double
wilderness of sex and war
all through the eerie
fictions of the afternoon.
The audience is restless,
a wicked ocean roughing up its boats.
It makes a noise I seem to need.
The ruby bracelet
clinks against the handcuff,
all the cars make squealing sounds.
The kid in front of me
wants more candy,
rocks in her velvet seat. Shut up,
says her mother, maybe seventeen.
Just shut the fuck up.
The corpses of the future
drift across the galaxy with nothing
in their stiff, irradiated hands.
In our ears the turbo revs,
the cheekbone cracks,
a stocking slithers to the floor.
Cocteau said film is death at work.
Out of the twilight a small voice
hisses shut up, just shut the fuck up.