All you needed was a camera and you could shoot a film noir     hardly moving
boiled down to two rooms, already rendered in black and white     at least it seemed that way
the unbearable tension and oppressive stillness of a Clouzot film     this is how they ended
all the other players having left the scene     locked in and nowhere else     to go
let’s call them friends of a friend or neighbours     and they weren’t giving in to any other view
than that of enemy, contender, and combatant     this is how it starts, this is how you tear apart
then comes Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?     and before you know it you’re watching Horror
it’s Straightjacket and Joan Crawford’s wigging out and coming at you     with an axe
Who knew     she could swing like that     and then the birds start singing and picking     at everything
and how relationships as flimsy as ticker tape won’t stop     anything     it wasn’t like you could tap
them on the shoulders     in cinematic strokes with low key lighting and a confusion of angles
And the one about the bird     mashed in black and white, you know the one—kids circling
round the playground     wounded bird and kids not knowing what else to do
when life and death mattered/didn’t so one threw the first pebble     then another the next
faster and faster until     every child     all little girls and boys     were throwing stones at the bird
and the weight of death     is pressing us immeasurably to the screen
this is it, this is how it’s done     this is how we die and kill
in one scene     and it occurs to me     maybe we want to be that bird
beyond Joan Crawfords, Clouzots and playgrounds and a call too late to call for help
because the story ends     it ends

and just begin again