When There Were Ghosts
By Alberto Ríos
On the Mexico side in the 1950s and 60s,
There were movie houses everywhere
And for the longest time people could smoke
As they pleased in the comfort of the theaters.
The smoke rose and the movie told itself
On the screen and in the air both,
The projection caught a little
In the wavering mist of the cigarettes.
In this way, every story was two stories
And every character lived near its ghost.
Looking up we knew what would happen next
Before it did, as if it the movie were dreaming
Itself, and we were part of it, part of the plot
Itself, and not just the audience.
And in that dream the actors' faces bent
A little, hard to make out exactly in the smoke,
So that María Félix and Pedro Armendáriz
Looked a little like my aunt and one of my uncles--
And so they were, and so were we all in the movies,
Which is how I remember it: Popcorn in hand,
Smoke in the air, gum on the floor--
Those Saturday nights, we ourselves
Were the story and the stuff and the stars.
We ourselves were alive in the dance of the dream.
I read the news Friday morning, got very cranky, and decided to go for a walk before I got crankier, since apparently we now live in an America where in addition to all the other outrages it's all right to stop the elderly from voting, slaughter of endangered arctic wolves, and ignore the murder and dismemberment of journalists as long as we're selling lots of weapons. It was a gorgeous cool day and I did a Shinx raid in the woods.
We had dinner with my parents, then came home for Blindspot (what are you DOING Zapata, and Kurt you cannot be this stupid), and now we're watching the Dodgers-Brewers game in which L.A. is looking like they actually want to play a seventh game. From the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire, some photos of the mid-afternoon joust, attended by the Kings of England and France and featuring games of skill plus, what else, a brawl at the end: