Perry Smith


“My understanding of the
difference between what is 
true and what is really true”
—Truman Capote,
Music for Chameleons

I liked the film in black & white
the way film noir used to be back then

The same Haines Hardware Store
there in Emporia on the way to Holcomb

Buying the rope and tape they’d use
to tie up the Clutter Family victims

The same highways and streets
same courthouse, filling stations

How the movie crime scene had
all fantasy & make-believe removed

Just that bleak Midwestern noir reality
same old grim cold non-fiction nightmare

Except Brook’s film was even more
depressing than even my downer novel

Dick parting the Venetian slats
peering outside into the darkness

The immense noise of the shotgun
did anyone out there hear the shootings?

The same Venetian blinds still there
in that spooky Clutter House window

Still hanging like in the original scene
with Dick peering out suspiciously

Something as simple & real as that
extending itself outta time into the now

Just as I tried catching & intertwining
the same scene with words

The film without any demarcations 
filmed with flashlights in the dark

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