Tuesday, December 20, 2011

At the Movies

by Steve King
© 2011
All rights reserved

It seems so like a movie:
each scene passing,
one frame to the next,
with no decent pause,
no time for second shots;
no rehearsal scheduled
for swell special effects.

So like a movie,
right up to the end;
the end of each daily take, of course.
Who knows what length the finished version plays?
(I would cut that final credit roll,
                        and film sequels endlessly)

If only we were scripters
with a swank L.A. address,
sifting through distractions,
fleshing it all out
to some more leisured pace,
forging many endings
to suit us as the evening moods might strike.

Or one of those directors,
to gesture grandly from afar;
pondering, just so, upon each panoply,
summoning the great fates into play;
deciding, judging, wrinkling the brow,
‘Is it good enough?’
‘Where has my light gone?’
‘Is it lunch time yet?’

Or perhaps the makeup guy,
refashioning each flaw,
covering the ancient ugliness
with a new gloss of mud,
just enough to last
the next sweaty charade.

Or how about a cameraman
with a ready ‘on’ and ‘off’?
Some shadows aren’t deep enough,
to give a place to hide;
ubiquitous grey space
yields too much up to hard daylight.
Surely there are moments
to be lived off the record;
surely some regrets would fade
if only no one knew…

Far better yet to work the re-write shop,
where old mistakes and second-bests
would make for honest work;
where blind alleys and dead ends
might become useful paths again;
where finally, with amended lines,
I once again could stand my mark, and—

“Lights!  Camera!  Quiet, please!
It’s time for my soliloquy!”


  1. Oh making life a movie, this was so groovie. It would be interseting to say the least. But alas it's just not the nature of the beast.

  2. i write sequels endlessly...nice...if only...and if the rewrite shop was our work what if we cut the wrong scene and the movie no longer made any sense...nice musing...think i might stay just an actor...someone to walk through the scene or just caught in the corner...smiles.

  3. I'm hoping for a sequel... this is a great write...exploring all the avenues and boulavards - love the ending...spotlight 2 fade...SWEET!:)

  4. I like the idea of our life being a movie...not always ready and perfect but still we try...even taking our second best shots ~

  5. you mean life isn't a movie?

  6. Strong metaphorical write, Steve. You've created a very matter-of-fact voice that sounds like L.A. to this L.A. native daughter (so glad to be out of there). And try as hard as we might to direct, it never quite works.

  7. Liked what Zongrik isn't a movie? This is a great piece, wishing sometimes, all this is a script..that we are the masters of our acts..our scenes...well, are we or aren't we? A thought to rewrites, tho..and we don't always make the mark, no matter what...At any rate, nice continuance of what the Bard said..."all the world's a stage...." you bring it along modern idiom. This will be with me for a time!

  8. Sometimes life does play out like a movie, and if we could redo some of the scenes.... Although I believe all of it makes us who we are!

  9. Steve! Wonderful weave! My script changes daily, as does my starring role, but as the writer, editor and reader, I panic at the thought that its all on me!!! But the challenge is what it is :) Thanks so much for your visit and kind words. Here's hoping you and yours enjoy a fantastic holiday season...Much Poet Love!!!

  10. much enjoyed this... and asked myself all the time while reading if i really would want life to be a movie with the possibility to try again and cut bad scenes out.. maybe yes..there were some i would cut - but would i be still the same? good write steve

  11. Excellent and well executed metaphor here Steve--and you've broken it all down detail by comparative detail for maximum impact. There is often a feel of unreality, of the stage to life, especially in the stronger and more dramatic scenes we play out in our heads--that penultimate stanza is very fine writing;
    Some shadows aren’t deep enough,
    to give a place to hide;
    ubiquitous grey space
    yields too much up to hard daylight..."
    and the ending is a strong one. Loved it throughout.

  12. Alas, poor Yorick! xxxj wonderful. thanks for stopping by-- I like the sense that you took pains to deliver up a solid poem here-- Some shadows aren’t deep enough,
    to give a place to hide..."

    Do you know Piaf's song J'ne regrette rien.... xj

  13. I loved reading this!
    How often have I wanted to replay a scene. And how often have I found, in retrospect, that the scene was perfect (in some way I have yet to decipher) after all, that a replay of it would have put me somewhere entirely different from here, where I am delighted to be...

  14. I love how you captured your thoughts in this metaphorical write. I especially like the last stanza about 'rewrites.'
    Though I have pondered where other paths may have taken me, I don't know how much I would change. My script may not be perfect, but the camera's still rolling and we'll see how the credits read when we get to the end.
    One of my favorite quotes is: "I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I intended to be." Douglas Adams (Author of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy)
    That fits my own "film" pretty well!
    Thanks for sharing Steve. Wishing you and yours joy and peace through the holiday season :-)

  15. yeah, the mind is a movie studio... very much so, where i rework and reword all my deeds, prop myself up, lie to myself, make it better, make it worse. very keen observation, and well written, enjoyed this very much

  16. just thought i'd swing by and wish you a peaceful holiday season.

  17. This is great, Steve. I agree, life is like a movie. I can't wait to see what my director has planned for me next.

    Many blessings to you this holiday season!

  18. yo man...merry christmas to you as well...hope your holidays are treating you well.

  19. Just wanted to wish you Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays ~

    Blessings ~