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Sample Poems by Kim Bridgford



Hollywood

The world out there is bigger, and the stories
Are all about the dream, or how it fell,
(A comet trailing the incredible).
Through movies we are lifted from our worries,

And we believe: in large imagination,
The swell of orchestra, the railway station
With lovers kissing in the hissing steam;
A moment’s sadness is recast as dream.

So here we sit, alone, outlined with dark,
And we know what it feels like—not the work
That bothered us that day. We watch the train
Pull out; we weep for what we’ve just seen happen.

They stand for us. The tears that line their sleeves.
The past that runs alongside as it grieves.




Psycho

Oh, Mother, how to live without you here—
The birds all stuffed to hold a single pose,
And no one stopping by. I’m lonely, dear,
Rocking with the guilt a mother knows,

And rocking with the guilt of her one son.
Some women go too far; they tempt us all.
They should be petrified, but have a will.
You disapprove. You cut away the sin,

And when you run the shower, it’s all done.
The anger comes, then leaves, just like the blood
That covers everything with what’s inside,
And so you work, and everything is clean.

I’m lonely, Mother. Sometimes when I cry,
Your hand will settle briefly, like a fly.



Strangers on a Train

Sometimes we wish a thing, and it comes true:
Guy wants his fame, and his Ann Morton too.
And Miriam’s resistance is what angers;
And it all disappears in Bruno’s fingers,

While something is picked up, the A to G
That lights a pathway scattered with the guilt
That comes from living out a fantasy.
Love makes a bed along death’s crooked fault.

Crisscross. And Bruno passes through the film,
A wish so old we do not recognize it,
A wish so old we don’t have to disguise it.
What we live out in dreams can overwhelm—
A boy who has been smothered, learns to smother,
Who wants his father dead to live with Mother.



Billy Wilder

No children, he said. And they didn’t have them.
No changes, he said, and made the camera his,
Not just the words. He wanted people to believe him,
Out in the waiting dark, where glamour was.

And perhaps that’s what we want—a brief perfection—
A life that takes us from a war and sorrow,
A past that improvises on tomorrow
And makes it beautiful: “Lights, camera, action.”

He had found life’s beauty in his art and films;
He had a marriage that he felt was true.
He saw the dream, yet all that overwhelms.
He wanted you to think he gave you you:
The you like him, with wings made out of grime,
The boy who had escaped the war in time.



Some Like It Hot

It’s both the ultra feminine and not
Aboard love’s train in Wilder’s gangster plot.
The sax and sex combine to make us watch,
And all the multiplicities of touch.

The hermeneutic question: Who wants heart,
And who wants money? Sugar knows them both.
Yet mind is swayed by this important truth:
A kiss is practice gathering into art.

The phrase “Nobody’s perfect” carries weight,
When there’s the moment of the true confession,
For feeling, with the courage of expression,
Wins out. Like Darwin, we find in our fate

The thrill of what is strange and what is true,
The ecstasy of nature making do.