Why this?

The occasional poem of my own and a generous helping of work by others that I find inspiring. Site is named for a beloved book by one of my favorite writers, Italo Calvino, whose fanciful work lights--and delights--my soul.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

When There Were Ghosts

On the Mexico side in the 1950s and 60s, 
There were movie houses everywhere 

And for the longest time people could smoke 
As they pleased in the comfort of the theaters. 

The smoke rose and the movie told itself 
On the screen and in the air both, 

The projection caught a little 
In the wavering mist of the cigarettes. 

In this way, every story was two stories 
And every character lived near its ghost. 

Looking up we knew what would happen next 
Before it did, as if it the movie were dreaming 

Itself, and we were part of it, part of the plot 
Itself, and not just the audience. 

And in that dream the actors’ faces bent 
A little, hard to make out exactly in the smoke, 

So that María Félix and Pedro Armendáriz
Looked a little like my aunt and one of my uncles— 

And so they were, and so were we all in the movies, 
Which is how I remember it: Popcorn in hand, 

Smoke in the air, gum on the floor— 
Those Saturday nights, we ourselves 

Were the story and the stuff and the stars. 
We ourselves were alive in the dance of the dream.

--Alberto Rios

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