image borrowed from bing
“I wanted a perfect ending. But now I’ve learned the hard way
that some poems don’t rhyme, & some stories don’t have a
clear beginning, middle, & end.”--Gilda Radner.
Long before written language,
we were fortunate enough to have
the storytellers within
carrying on an oral tradition
that began around campfires in caves;
and today we are blessed/cursed with a media
that utilizes satellites to know
when a sparrow falls in Spain,
when a pope rises out of Poland,
when 237 girls in Nigeria
between the ages of 8-18
were kidnapped, sodomized, & raped
by sub-human Muslim radical thugs in a country paralyzed
when a negligent Korean crew
on a grossly overloaded ferry
can sadly sink & drown hundreds
of innocent school children--but the news reporters
still are forever on the lookout for an old ally--the story.
Oddly, the stories I most vividly recall,
are those labeled fiction,
based on fact,
shreds of the truth,
& the human condition--the stories
illuminated in literature & film.
“I don’t know what’s wrong with Europe, but I do know a story
when I see one, & I’ll keep after it until I get it, or it gets me.”
Joel McCrea in FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT (1940).
“This the story of a ship in war.”
John Mills from IN WHICH WE SERVE (1942).
“There are eight million stories in the naked city.”
Barry Fitzgerald in THE NAKED CITY (1948).
“I thought it was going to be a 30 day stretch--now
it’s a year; like a life sentence. Where is it? Where’s
that big story that will get me out of here?”
Kirk Douglas in ACE IN THE HOLE (1951).
“What a time we had, Rosie. We’ll never lack for stories
to tell our grandchildren.” Humphrey Bogart to Katherine
Hepburn in THE AFRICAN QUEEN (1952).
“The old sad story, promising youth blighted, dragged down
by money, position, noblesse oblige.” Sean Connery to
Tippi Hedren in MARNIE (1964).
“This was the story of Howard Beale, the first known instance
of a man who was killed because he had lousy ratings.”
William Holden in NETWORK (1976).
“There was no way of telling his story without telling my own.”
Martin Sheen in APOCALYPSE NOW (1979).
“I’ve told theses stories so many times that I almost forgot it was
me who had these things happen to him.” Dennis Quaid in
EVERYBODY’S ALL-AMERICAN (1988).
“It wasn’t just a story, now was it?” Sarah Polley to John Neville
in THE ADVENTURES OF BARON MUNCHAUSEN (1989).
“I tell you, your silly head is full of nonsense;
racked with riddles,
mired in movies,
lost in libraries,
bound in book stores,
mesmerized by trashy magazines,
persuaded by poetry,
dimmed by drama,
pole-axed by politics,
made comatose by comedy”,
said my shadow companion yesterday.
“But of course,” I replied,
“All poets are that way.”
“What about the serious things in life?”
“Why so serious? You know that everything can be,
will be, inevitably must be reduced to a story,
or some kind of poem.”
“Why do I waste my time chiding you, for
you will remain a hopeless romantic,
a tireless crusader,
a happy historian,
a damn dreamer,
just a storyteller.”
Smiling as I scribbled down some ideas, I said,
“You say that like it’s a bad thing.”
Posted over at dVerse Poets MTB
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