Some Kind of Man

Summer, 2005 / No. 14

Over time, his chin doubled, his face fattened,

his every word wheezed its way out.

He found himself in lurid settings—

throttling stock villains while

drugged Janet Leigh lay nearby,

innocent as a motel bible

(even then, she knew her niche).

Earlier, he’d held a god’s office,

presiding over three famous minutes

of film, a single tracking shot

that elaborated the limits of his universe:

parked car, street, explosion—

but no more such ambitions.

By the end, he struggled merely to picture

the shape and make of a cane

that might steady his hobbled thoughts,

and wanted very badly to slap the Mexican clean

off Charlton Heston’s bronzed face.

Marlene assessed a mess, honey.

Washing bloody hands in water

choked with garbage, Orson accepted irony.

Made popular his art. He longed, finally,

to sit down to a hot bowl of chili,

set lovingly before him by his dreamed-of gypsy.

Jason Guriel’s new book, The Pigheaded Soul: Essays and Reviews on Poetry and Culture, is forthcoming in 2013. Last updated winter, 2012–2013.