POETRY: HOLLYWOOD MEN – ROBIN WYATT DUNN

Hollywood Men

On the balustrade of Sunset here we come,
the morning hours,
flush with piety and pity,
Hollywood men.

Born somewhere else
and born here again,
Hollywood men.

Light cuts our skulls open for surgery,
with heavy anesthetic,
in the doorways of WGA,
kissing our lips with a cool whore’s regard,
ushering us into our seats for the movie.

The director argues with the other director
and the woman holds the boom like Achilles his spear,
waiting for the painter to make his sketch.

Hollywood men,
we’re Holywood men,
cut from ash,
made new,
born bolder,
hotter,
naked,
soldiers in a war we can never understand.

We’re hollywood men.
I made the world collapse over a woman’s face,
and then she cursed me with France,
all before the cops showed up,
And I ratted out the second producer,
And the peasants revolted.

I fed them water.

Knelt at graves on the studio lot,
which was only an old nuthouse,
collapsing into ghosts and dust.

We’re Hollywood men.
Shamans.
Showmen.
Hollywood men.

holly, burn my cheek with the scar of these months,
I’ve killed all your gods but you won’t kill me,
you made me a god,
like Pan his boy,
and I dance for you still,
my voice stretched over the sky in concertina wire,
screaming with joy, and announcing the kings.

We shall not see them.
They are kept away.
I have a picture of one of them but it would burn out your eyes.
We keep their names inside our air conditioned brains,
under our silver reflective eyes,
naming. We’re naming.
or some of us are,
Jews with names,
ushering in the world.

We’re Hollywood men. Got new names and new faces.
I grew a beard.
My grandfather shaved his.
Cut from glass to catch the light.

We’re Hollywood men.
Waiting in line.
Watching the faces.
Listening.
Eavesdropping.
Ordering whiskey with a glamorous flourish,
and a look over the shoulder,
asking for the cigarette tray,
in David Lynch’s seat,
under the tree,
watching the tables,
plotting revenge.

We’re Hollywood men.
We still see the old gods.
They know us too.

Marching at parade.
with our armory.

Decamp for a week,
Learn the new names,
Negotiate. Like a leper for bread.
How much bread for this divorce?
Your name, your sweater, can I get it in red?
What are you reading?
Have you seen the sky? So dark, over my face,
I think I might be in love.
Be careful, that’s dangerous,
We know who’s in love with Hollywood men.

It’s grounds for divorce.
Bullets and fists.
The rook sleeping under the asphalted king
growing a tree for the bum to sleep on.

Who’s in love with a Hollywood man?
Fighting fierce, shaved down to a husk,
Shoulders and baritone musk and the roach clipped to his ear,
listening for voices that are not there,
pigeons flying around his face,
Underneath the shadow of Larry Flynt,
and the lawyers.

Who’s in love with a Hollywood man?
is it you?
Tucked far away over the U-store-it Tower?
We’re Hollywood men.
Murdering innocence, which is only to say,
making you less harmless.
with our pharmakon show,
of snakes and planes,
bad motherfuckers and whorish wives,
the aspirants,
like doves, around the hierophant’s altar, dipping in a ladle for the
blood . . .

We’re Holywood men.
No god can scare me.
for I am one.
Powerless, unafraid, without a name or a face.
Sergeant. Mexican. Stern and stalwart.
Hunted and alone,
catcalled,
Wretched,
Reader of books in the most beautiful alleys you have ever seen.

Who’s in love with a Hollywood man?
It’s grounds for divorce.
A suspended sentence!
A long night.
By the freeway.

But Hollywood, that’s something else.
Hollywood men keep out of Hollywood,
as knights from their princesses.
Four hundred meters from kerchief to lips
polishing our smart phones with the cusp of our sleeves.

Announcing the regulars.
Tall, shadowed, and still with some humor.
Violent and relaxed,
our car a musical device, with only one chord,
like a koan,
samsara-ing into the night,
with our swords.

Cutting through shelters singing ringtones,
clouding the subways with pot, jersualems without number,
we can duplicate them,
we can replicate them,
in cgi,
and in the poem of blind mexican nursemaids,
oublietta milkshades,
we bring the holy city with us,
the tabernacle is contractually obligated
for a period of five years
to lay down his name for the boundary line
lay down your life for the boundary line,
where names meet faces,
and old jews become young river gods,
and harem girls sing pop music,
through ice cream colored t shirts,
outside the one bookstore still remaining.

Who’s in love with a hollywood man
with his ancient face
and his fading memory
with his hands
without garments
without traces
heroic
and nameless
and unafraid
with no plans
no family
no eyes.

rock and roll sunsets on arrakis,
or is it venice,
with some saxophone,
and heroin,
or maybe just frisbee and weed,
who’s in love with him?

waiting for the volleyball to come back
waiting for the right decade to arrive
waiting for the right language to express the feeling
born on the asphalt
next to the freeway
standing under the 7-11
with one cup of bad coffee
and the sunscreen explodes in your hand,
from the pressure of the city,
making a noise like a girl sobbing,
from her audition,
wearing her witch’s hat.

we’re hollywood men,
deadly perfect.
unknowable.
delirious.
solemn.
righteous.
musical.
Mandated to serve
the king and his country
for eternity
one billion years.
one trillion years.
Okay, half a trillion years.
with a side of yams
and meringue.
Lopsided.
and rambunctious.
Heroic.
These heroes,
shadowed from sand,
are dead,
we’re dead men.

We’re dead men.

we come here to die.

This beautiful graveyard.
has anyone ever seen a more beautiful graveyard?

 

This poem was first performed at Roar Shack in Los Angeles, May 15 2016.

Check out Robin’s website. 

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