Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Pool of Forgetfulness

The Mummy (1932)
The Pool of Forgetfulness

Assistant: “Maybe he got too gay
with the vestal virgins in the temple.”

Doctor Muller: “Possibly.”

Lo and behold—Horror Movie Fairy Tale!!!
A Fractured Fairy Tale—out of the Blue!!!
Fractured—and full of fractal fissures!!!
Full of Mandelbrot detours—just for me!!!

Deeper than deep—endless Black Hole
See how it slides deeper—down into the Pool?
How exquisitely labyrinthine—the Pool of Love
The Pool of—ancient Sphinx Forgetfulness

Mirror of beauty—Pool of Egyptian Death
Im-ho-tep still in love—centuries later
Princess Anck-es-en-Amon—reincarnated
From the tomb—his ancient lover again

Both back again—mysteriously reborn
Boris Karloff as—mesmerizing Ardath Bey
Zita Johann—as lost love Helen Grosvenor
Both fated by the gods—to do it again

Im-ho-tep the Egyptian—alias Ardath Bey
“You will not remember—what I show you now
And yet I shall awaken—memories of love...
And crime—and death...”

Yes, I too swooned—like Zita Johann
Staying up late—on ‘50s Saturday nights
Long before cable—and satellite TV
Long before Netflix—I was a horror queen

Rodney and the Host—jittery airwaves
Wichita Kansas TV—on KAKE-TV
From 1958 to 1959—fuzzy screens
And horror movies—up late at night

Seduced by Boris Karloff—The Mummy
Ardath Bey—lovesick Egyptian priest
Sacrilege—and ancient betrayals of death
Mummies wrapped up—alive in pyramids

How TV—the Pool of Forgetfulness
Projected images—on the fuzzy screen
Fading in & fading out—black & white
Late ‘50s TV horror shows—so exquisite

Back then—images were different
My brain wasn’t glutted yet—by overkill
By media—by advertising & politics
My bildungsroman—still books & movies

Late ‘50s—the Eisenhower years
The Kansas architecture—calm & stoic
We even visited—the Eisenhower Museum
In Abilene—young handsome football player

Handsome like Ronald Reagan—movie star
Hard to imagine him—a young lifeguard
But there he was—goodlooking young man
How many swooning queens—did he save?

That was the context—for cinema then
Black & white horror movies—plus sci-fi
The Thing and Them—Earth versus The
Flying Saucers—The World Stood Still

Staying up late—on Saturday nights
Totally engrossed by—Son of Dracula
House of Frankenstein—Wolf Man and
Mummy—Wichita-beamed zeitgeist

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