marquee They're Making This Poem Into a Movie
Erin Murphy

They're making this poem into a movie and it fades in with a close-up of a Bear Island sign, and just when you're starting to picture me (or Nicole Kidman as me) in camouflage, stalking a grizzly, or, even better, huddled by the fire in a log cabin with stew simmering on the stove, the camera pans out to a wide angle and this Bear Island turns out to be a median strip in Bear, Delaware, and I'm sitting in the waiting area of a tire dealership where a guy named Steve convinces me to go with the Regatta 2 which promises a quiet ride and excellent wet-road traction for $60 more than I'd planned to spend, which, Steve tells me, is only $3 a year per tire more, and I trust him on this (and here's where the voice-over kicks in) because I'm too lazy to do the math and because I'm impressed that he can say wet-road traction without sounding like Barbara Walters

and besides, I was hoping to be in the library today, not inhaling tire treads and listening to Road Runner reruns, and just think, if I'd gone to the library you could be experiencing a poem-movie about Hegel or Matisse, heck, even Michener would be more interesting than Michelin (or better yet: Michener on Michelin: the greatest epic ever written on tires, with an 85,000-word warranty), yes, the library is where I'd be now, even though, as I know you'll be relieved to hear, I'm not the least bit constipated, which can't be a total non-sequitor for you, as I'm sure I'm not the only one for whom the smell of musty old books combined with recirculated air conditioning works better than a prescription laxative— I mean, do not pass go, do not collect $200, send me straight to the library bathroom, a place where I spent quite a bit of time in graduate school when I pretty much survived on cheese from visiting-author receptions, enough to turn anybody's system to sludge

and speaking of that library, let me tell you about that prime example of an architectural disaster, that brick skyscraper in the center of campus that looked like it was giving the finger to the rest of Western Massachusetts, that giant phallus designed by a man (had to be) who forgot to take into account the weight of the books so that one by one the bricks started popping out of the sides and falling like Looney Tunes anvils onto the sidewalks below until the university closed off the top six stories and built a chain-link fence around the perimeter, which made me cross my finger in hopes that the physicist who calculated the circumference was more accurate than the architect, which reminds me of a student I had back then who grew up in Boston and wrote that she wanted to be an akitek—A-K-I-T-E-K— when she grew up (I'm thinking Reese Witherspoon for her part), and I figure even that girl would have done a better job on the library, a building I think of often because, frankly, I'm jealous of anyone who can fuck up on such a large, I'm talking massive scale, as I work on little poems that will never be sued for amputating the wrong stanza, never be sold for movie rights, never be the reason some union production assistant gets to stand in the studio buffet line next to Nicole Kidman and e-mail his brother that she's not nearly as hot in person as she is on-screen, which is a shame, really,

I mean, I want my poems to matter that much, so much that if you hated this poem, you'd want to sue me, yes, sue me ... I want you to sue me, I do—I want you to put this poem down right now and find yourself a lawyer, tell her about your pain and suffering, demand damages—I mean, you endured line after line about my bowel movements, for god's sake, and don't forget to tell her I used the word fuck—twice now—and here's a few more: fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck—hell, I'll give you all the fucks you want just to get somebody—anybody—to give one.

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