Like Trains In The Night

Sometimes I think the game is rigged.
Have you ever really seen a happy actor?

And I don’t mean a rich one, I mean
a truly happy actor, content with his lot,

a lot that (ironically) constantly shifts.
One production after another, one script,

one hotel, one mistress after another
(though I could stand to settle down),

and I keep wondering if women are magic,
if films are magic, too–in film things go

so smoothly, it has been said to me that
they go like trains in the night. The picture

is more desirable than the process
we put ourselves through without regard,

it seems, as to whether this will be
the last film we make, whether we will

find women disgusting, life disgusting,
decide to leave, decide to live alone.


This poem is based on the film La Nuit Americaine (Day For Night), told from the perspective of Alphonse, who is played by, and who is a fictional surrogate of, Jean-Pierre Leaud.

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