INARTICULATENESS: a poem about Luis Buñuel


Buñuel sat day
after day outside.
Smoking cigarettes, one following another.
Shot after shot of
espresso. Quietly waiting
for the ideas to come.
Coming, as he did, from the cafe
society of Barcelona,
he had little use for Los Angeles.
The automobiles going past
were like houseflies too big
to swat.

When one has nothing
to say, how does one say it?
What then? And if someone is willing
to pay him for his skilled silence,
what then? Is it

He sat thinking.
The darkness of the cinema
encourages us to dream. The heat and light
of the endless street, the eternally empty
sidewalks and tectonic pavement plates
encourage nothing. They give courage
to nothing. Fastening mankind
into the shackles of women,
binding women
into the vices of men.

Day after day
Buñuel sat outside.
Los Angeles. Quiet.
Waiting for the ideas
to come.

September 1999

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