Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Perry Smith


Prairie wind pressed against the
windows, suckin at the glass

Perry was remote, suspicious
sullenly sleepy-eyed, remote

Nothing interested him, bored
he sized me up as another con

He was half-Irish half-Indian
I was talking to a young killer

“What kinda writer are you?”
he asked rather arrogantly

“Written any movies?” he said
already giving up on me

“Yeah, “Beat the Devil”—
with Humphrey Bogart…”

His eyes lit up, completely 
all mine from then on

“Bogart” he whispered, barely
audible above the wind outside

“He was my favorite actor ever
since “Treasure of Sierra Madre”

It flustered him, dissolving 
his con-artist tough façade

The old prospector, Walter Huston
was like his father, Tex Smith

From then on he was just a kid
in love with all the old movies

Pathetic, lonely, vain—
identifying with tough Bogart

Caught up in his own
film noir murder flick now

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