|Wendy Carlisle||The 2River View, 7.1 (Fall 2002)|
1. About The Set
The stars on the patio overlooking the river cost
drinking margaritas from
while your animal smell burns in my head
with last light, the Tower Life building,
boozy picnics, past lives
like ribs in an umbrella, extras jubilant
if you’re a San Antonio hero who bowls
I expect: neon, tequila,
2. Another B Movie
On this reel: the desperate sunset, twinkle lights, a tracking shot along the manipulated river:
In the Excelsior Bar the accordion is a staggered heartbeat. The man who is not a hero grinds away on the dance floor. His face is buried in his partner’s neck. His movements are always a little off the beat.
These are images designed to show how the man keeps his heart out of the rhythm, out of the strings of peppers, the bullfight posters, the Jose Cuervo, keeps it safe from the neon and limes.
In the next reel: the man is on the riverbank, drunk, wearing a ten-gallon hat, talking about spares and strikes. On the soundtrack: the beating of a perpetual tourist heart. The film clarifies what happened in the Tex-Mex bar.
3. The Poem That Should Have Been A Movie
If it were a movie, the poem would be a show-off.
But the poem sadly knew it was a poem. Far away from the original dance floor, it ground its hips to Tejano music in some seedy dive. It two-stepped with a cast of cinematic Mexicans, loose women and misfits, then got drunk and sloppy and wandered out alone to the sidewalk where it lit up a cigarette. Later it strolled down to the water dressed in a modified suit of lights. The poem ended the evening with a boy from a family of bowlers. Only the accordion player noticed.