Bobby


“Giardia”, he laughs, like it’s a proverb discovered. A simple word, description, hell even an action word that should be not only defined but lived. “You had it”, I say, knowing the answer already, knowing the full story to come, the psalm of life, that music, coming from a man about to die.

Spill me a sample of life in your tears, sometimes in laughter, overt without fear. Bobby do tell me of all those old times, I’ll just listen and not know why. It doesn’t matter, what you’ve done before, a silent film critic, with pain you ignore, it really is something these times that we sit, and keep your attention astray. I’ll let you ignore, that shadows are asking you to play, outside this door.

Momma you think she’s keeping you down, the truth of the matter is she wishing you found, no longer lost but heavenly bound, it’s okay, she’s wishing her son would stay.

Tell me of Pickford, of that old great train, it’s robbery in silence, the cinema of gray, those sounds not spoken, and maybe it’s just like your AIDS, a Potemkin treasure while the theatre organ plays. You’re quite a Chaplin today, funny man looking for stories while your breath goes away, Bobby in silence it goes far away.

“You’ll always write great things”, Bobby’s eyes are snapping, looking bluer than the gulf, on fire perhaps with some ancient star. “Why ruin a good conversation with flattery”, I say. He’s actually made me smile, with the flamboyancy of his announcement, delivered with the flourish of his weakened hands. Those hands, that have been typing for days, typing the old fashion way. “The truth is a fire”, he snaps, looking at me intensely, his gaze that of goodbye. “You’ll write of this someday, promise me”, he says, well really he demands.

Bobby, let’s talk of things that are old, immortal pictures, Faust, and what you know, Bobby don’t leave me without saying why, a silent majority has to die. He’s moving and talking his lips that don’t speak, and telling his friend, secrets that, I’ll always keep. You better believe, I’ll always keep.

“Giardia”, he laughs, like it’s a proverb discovered. A simple word, description, hell even an action word that should be not only defined but lived. “You had it”, I say, knowing the answer already, knowing the full story to come, the psalm of life, that music, coming from a man about to die.

Bobby Klepper passed away on February 2, 2000. As promised him, this is goodbye. 08.02.2015 – דָּנִיֵּאל



The Raising of Lillian Gish (A Dream)

And in the end it’s just a dream,

and what’s remembered what’s gleaned,

and what before of silent past,

and what message did Lillian pass?

Lillian Gish loved me, and I know it’s true. I saw her black and blue, you see, in Broken Blossoms begging for truth. She was not intolerant of what I couldn’t do, reach back through the threads of time and make her cinematic life seem fine. Silent movie gasp of quiet, the space between pen and time, she stares in cinema, film she cries, and oh my soul does, rewind, and I lose my planned eternity, for all the silent pictures confined. Oh her pretty eyes that seep, a weepy filled mystery, I cannot find, reality in film, without spoken words and finality, but still I see and watch her move, across the silver screen she leaps, my mortal life drains from me, a little teardrop slowly falls, incandescently, lost beyond physical reality.

And in the end it’s just a dream,

and what’s remembered what’s gleaned,

and what before of silent past,

and what message did Lillian pass?

In a silent studio, where a spirits bred, from a lost frame your face in dread, my heart felt breathless when you looked so sad, you looked so sad. Now say little, say little, actress Lilly Gish, If I could travel and move to your myth, would you now, would you, act for me in mime, and pleasure with desire and mystery. Suppose now, could you, would you, trace my heart and touch my reels spinning with your ghostly spark.

And in the end it’s just a dream,

and what’s remembered what’s gleaned,

and what before of silent past,

and what message did Lillian pass?

What now happens from title cards, a worn girl looking from a staged lost art, and did she say a word or two about a story that she knew. Now may be Lillian didn’t love me at all, as I watched her in silence call, it could be breath but I’m not sure, for there was no color in what she served. Well may be she said on down to this day, hey modern day actor you’re not in a play. Could be something to saying a sound, and not being silent when the curtain goes down, hey life’s not attention on the silver screen or black and white goodies like it sometimes seems. We all lose something when the projection stops, and the frames stop moving, and the movie flops. It could be may be some reality would serve itself up better, if I didn’t receive, some ragged virtue from a silent past, from a ghostly girl in a white broad brimmed hat.

And in the end it’s just a dream,

and what’s remembered what’s gleaned,

and what before of silent past,

and what message did Lillian pass? – 10.02.2014 – דָּנִיֵּאל