We don’t want to share this night
with other people. Even though it comes
from a good place, sometimes people end
up being strange. In the hills above Sunset,
you showed me an empty house, the ghost
of a tennis court, dim figures out of beat
with the rest of the world. Just like
in the movies: pretending to be somebody
else, crumbling apart in slow motion.
I used to think of them, a great big
package of melancholy. I’m scared
this will be the end of everything.
Throw out all that psychological mess,
you tell me. This is for you and me.
No problem. To get rid of this god-awful
feeling, I’ve done quite a bit of research—
humanistic—and I’ve got the most wonderful
news for you: incredible as it may seem,
sweetheart, life can be beautiful.
It’s kind of half-night, and that means
we should hear a band where there is
no band, and the city will smell of tuberoses.
The stars are ageless—aren’t they?—
and I’m in love with you.
Sources: Sunset Boulevard (1950) and Mulholland Drive (2001)
People love the cinema firmament
and all the little heartaches that go
with it. Other people are passionate
about some awful things—stars
looking ridiculous, flesh and blood
conflict—and they value nothing.
Another day, another Technicolor
world: this is a demonstration of
a talking picture, and you’re nothing
but a shadow on film. It’s all right—
I’m letting life hit me until it means
something. You’re a cab, a rattlesnake,
a ceiling inside a frame. I’m a one-
woman show, a simple girl of the people
breathlessly awaiting the sun shining
all over the place to favor us.
It’s a Hollywood law that the ballads
let you down, but I happen to be in love
with fools. Why aren’t we celebrating?
I’m out of a job, but nobody’s got
that much money, and the sun is nearly
gone. All we’re looking for is love
from someone else, and my Lord,
I’m always gonna love you.
Sources: Singin’ in the Rain (1952) and La La Land (2016)
Páramo de Belmira, Colombia and Valle de Los Gigantes, Baja California, Mexico - Shelby McAuliffe
Sometimes people need a little help.
As we move through this life,
poke your head up into the sunlight.
Arguing at the sixth-floor window is
evolutional. It is anthropological.
The marathon goes on and on
and on through strange intersections.
A curious side note: the good
book says, Have you seen death
in your bed? It’s quietly judging
you and the weight of your shame.
Just be strong. You got struck
by lightning once, in Hollywood,
and today frogs are falling from
the sky. This happens. What is it
that we need? Love. Love. Love.
Do you have love in your heart?
It’s an electrical charge, a little
moral story. You’re a good and
beautiful person. Stay that way.
Sometimes people need to be forgiven.
The whole world is like central casting—
rigged—but this isn’t funny. This isn’t
cute. This is a long way to go with no
punch. How long can they last?
I may not know a winner when I
see one, but the common element
is money, money, money.
A million years ago I did a stupid
thing, and the past ain’t through
with us. Don’t give me no sunshine
lectures, cherry pie, sweet mama baby.
It’s a dangerous thing, the loading
of the shotgun, the faith healer
shill. See the way we’re looked at?
It isn’t a contest. It’s a show.
You don’t know who I am, what
my life is. I used to love to look
at the ocean. He thought it was him
they believed in, but it was me.
Sources: They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? (1969) and Magnolia (1999)
return to ISSUE THREE