Tag Archives: Post-It Notes Left by Failed Actors

“Post-It Notes Left by Failed Actors” – Poetry by Ian Kappos

New York Movie - Edward Hopper, 1939
New York Movie – Edward Hopper, 1939

The dada-esque collage of “Post-It Notes Left by Failed Actors” is one of three wonderfully weird poems by Ian Kappos in our Winter 2016 issue.

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MOVIE—FOUND IN THE “LIES” SECTION, w/ all the pickled would-have-beens. “PG”; sugary, oratory. All the kings dead; the documentaries digress, amnesiac. Foreground: Lao Tsung clip-notes, predating his resumé (drafted by his progenitors). This coming after the “talkies” & before the color, & w/ the low keening death of the word, drowning in the shower, we all choke down the synonyms & stem cells.

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His words are pharaoh: anything of worth uttered to anyone will live on in pages pickled in ink, maybe moths. Tombs rise & births conspire belowground. Three pages for every worm. A novella of creepy crawlies yearning for a translator that dies at first breath.

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Curled nose at the dawn: she wants the kind of weather that’ll inspire her to stay inside & watch Rosemary’s Baby, so she can soak up the hellfire without baring her skeleton to the sun, to the sons. To the daughters of the sky. The infidelity of the screen scorches her, reassuringly.

—Is this American Romanticism? she thinks. —Or does the fair-haired angel-child lie beneath my boxspring? is he giggling, egging me on to wait it all out in the trenches? until I contract tuberculosis? until my friends scramble out of their hoods to time-share my static gaze? until I am a poet?

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He is made of mesh: awake, he quakes into being some new moths. The janitor. He doesn’t dreams of brooms; he dreams of railyards, just past noon, & the cargo which he wakes up knowing is you & me. That is when he wakes up & takes up his chant, beating the moths from the cats’ mouths.

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An inconvenient crew: They will be your ushers at the movie theater, & you won’t feel sorry for them that their legs are distorted & stunted. You won’t because their eyes are projectors & you are entranced. They will handicap you. The credits roll.

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