I’m studying old movies, black and white,
to hear the way they talked in parlor drama
and speak as smoothly, or at least to write
speeches without a dangling clause or comma.

Since I still have a pile of DVDs
to get through, you won’t see me for a while;
not till I have acquired some expertise
at choosing words with confidence of style

and clarity of purpose. If I can’t,
then I’ll script something for the silver screen.
They’ll have to cast someone like Cary Grant
to get across exactly what I mean.

Then I’ll invite you to a private screening,
warn you the story’s been inspired, but not
quite based, on real life, if you get my meaning.
They’ll also need someone like Randolph Scott . . . .

by James B. Nicola

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Poetry at the Movies