Friday, 13 March 2015


 This post's poem is an addition to a series I appear to have been writing about films and America in the 1950's. To be truthful I am not sure where the series if going but here's the latest:
Filming in a parallel dimension

Call him Ishmael, it'll do.
That one next to him
will end his days playing Admiral Nelson,
on an atomic submarine.
For now, he's signed on with Gregory Pecker
to hunt a mechanical whale across a large tank of water.
Not much skill needed there then.
The techs are all drunks or hop heads, and Greg?
Check out the stove pipe hat, false beard
and the same voice he always uses.

The techs vote to leave him pinned
to the rubber side of the pretend creature,
all through the lunch hour.
He will shout himself hoarse.
They call it method acting by committee.

None of them have read the book,
too long,
too old,
couldn't be bothered.
No matter, few of the audience will have either.

I am alluding to Moby Dick, filmed by John Huston in 1956 and a tv show Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. The rest I made up. I quite like the idea of the film's star being stuck to the side of the pretend whale and left there. 

I leave you with the legendary Allen Toussaint live in 2011.


  1. Liked the idea that nobody ever reads those books..explains why they so often get the subtexts wrong. And the same for the audience. Joint ignorance pretending to be cultured.

    1. You are so on the money. I think Moby Dick was a long cherished project of John Huston but sadly it just failed to work on the screen. On a broader note there is a tendency as you say for people to take the film of a book as the authentic voice of the story. Perhaps we are all getting lazy. Thank you for your perceptive [as always] comments.