Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Buster & Beckett Hit Yosemite

It’s a hundred degree day in Brooklyn
and Samuel Beckett and Buster Keaton are sweating their
respective balls off on the weed-choked lot
where they’re filming Sam’s one and only excursion
into film; titled, naturally, “Film”
Buster’s the star, even if he doesn’t exactly understand
this artsy-fartsy crap, but he’s a pro, he’s a trouper,
he needs the fucking money
And Allen Ginsberg shows up and writes a poem
about the whole thing then disappears
They’re taking a break, sitting back drinking
Cokes and fanning themselves with pages
from the script in the shadow of those chewed-up
red brick buildings, Buster’s face is dripping
over his collar like a candle, this is also
Beckett’s one and only excursion to America,
and as far as I can tell he never leaves
the state of New York, leaving the city only
to engage in long talks with the director
in a Quonset hut designed for Robert Motherwell,
yes, there are big names scattered everywhere
like the seeds of the various dry stalks that cover
the vacant lot, the cinematographer’s brothers
filmed the masterpiece “Man with a Movie Camera”
which we watched in film class, along with
The Blue Angel and Videodrome
Later on, both Beckett and Keaton will claim
that the other was stoic, hardly said a word the
entire time. I wish they would have taken
a road trip together, gotten the hell away
from all those weeds and crumbling bricks
to visit the expansive vistas of the West,
to fill their pupils with waterfalls and mountains
with hills covered with wildflowers
to tear themselves away for just a little while
from that little room with its single window
covered by a single tattered curtain.
Maybe they would have agreed to make
another movie together, one in which Sam
incorporated some of Buster's inspired pratfalls, 
one in which Buster dared to take that cloth away 
from that mirror. 

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