Friday, November 07, 2014

Awards Ceremonies And The Ghosts Of Filmdom Mourn

[to Norma Shearer, Billy Burke, Loretta Young, Greer Garson,
Maureen O'Hara, Deana Durbin, Jeanette MacDonald and so many others...]

 "somehow I just had to try! And if we don't try, we don't do. And if we don't do, why are we here on this earth?"
-Jimmy Stewart as Charlie Anderson looking for his lost son in Shenandoah [with his voice cracking, and weeping...]

shouldn't there be someone in a strawberry pink gown
that billows out or tropical orange with a peacock train?
something with eyelet flounces blue as rain in Spring

a sweetheart neckline,
something illusory. and discreet.
something to sing arias in,light opera-
pale green, lace overlay

oh any old thing and charming
from a vintage valentine reprieved
with a chivalrous Someone
would settle the matter.
why are they wearing This?

where's the technicolours? the off the shoulder orchids?
anything Beautiful? Ideal?
even in black and white, the sequined poetry?

the home with the diamond windowpanes,
chintz curtains, lush flower arrangements near
the prismed lamps, the singing bird
in the enchanted cage:

lovelorn, mysterious ways.
oh can they feel that we were ever here,
that anything is missing? but it is.
not only the ruby lipsticks christened like poems
that swiveled up, or compact puffed, the matte look

for the movie queens in snowdrift furs.
and snowy attitudes. 
no secrets here.

no ladyships
or lilac, lilac picture hats, the candi-coloured mint
chiffons from an afternoon tea or wedding- freshened up, a bit

gardenia crowned.lovely, lovelier, loveliest.
remember them...the ones with flowers for faces, 

Oh, God, what is all this dreck sans mystery.

no debonair. no savoir faire no Fred Astaire.
no Jimmy Stewart's honesty Midwestern brewed.
Or Tracy dedicated. Hepburn calla lillied,

dewy eyed, nuanced to the end; they cared about this.
said Poitier, "oh plant your feet and Rise!" in a voice
like Resurrection's own in a throw away line!
(in Little Nikita)
but what's "showing now" but
smashed kaleidoscopes ill-used or

dressed down scenes, inelegance. no heroines.
no kings commanding.
nothing to live or die for

so it seems. a deck full of jokers.
many knaves. comedic (only) hearts.
bad manners. language gone to seed

no handing off of the beautiful in the speeches made
just pop corn cracking jokes for the gimcrack kings and queens;
poor posture and enunciation.
drop a few F bombs for effect

who the hell cares
that they won't have to spell the
writing on the Envelope since

Information Only;s writ large upon the tarnished screens
of the profitable technocracy, no longer the odd Kingdoms sorted out
of love and death, the ships half lost at sea in the ghost mists
with the sweethearts wondering at home
when will it be, the life together...

what's left
of the dramatic arts refined, respected-
year after crumbling year, neglected
the men for all seasons, weathers,

Becket seeking "the honour of God"?

since we passed on, no George Scott mourning
the fleeting story, in lines inscribed so deeply
their ghostly bugled creed still lingers

over an abandoned battlefield...
no Sidney Carton in the final scene
murmuring while the clouds

of Glory stream, voiced over, the angelic music sweeping: "It is a far, far better thing that I have done..."
what heartbreak haunting here?

who's left but grifters.
no shame at Shame.

I heard them cry, the handkerchiefed shadows,
 the die is cast
I saw them,drifting out at last
in hard, slow tears, in a dissolving frame

mary angela douglas 7 november 2014;11 november 2014