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Celeste Gainey: between takes

Taxi Driver (1976, Martin Scorsese, dir.)

Columbus Circle, summer 1975


De Niro idles in his Checker. Cybill flirts behind

her Jackie-Os. Scorsese sucks oxygen from a tiny

tank trailed by an assistant. Albert Brooks hogs

the PA: When using the moving sidewalk,

please stand to the right, if you wish to pass, please

do so on the left. Over & over. Grips lay dolly track

for a shot we all know will never make the final cut

but will take most of the day to shoot.

Me in my 501s & Mighty Mouse T-shirt,

20 feet up, work gloves & pliers protruding,

the brute arc light I tend sputters & hisses

beside me. Like that famous New Yorker cover

showing the world as seen from 9th avenue––

the land of make believe rises up

to swallow me whole.

I try to lean as if belonging against

the unsteady rungs of my ladder––oblivious

to the real world down there too––

passing me by; most, jaded New Yorkers,

their eyes on the prize, but maybe some

looking up & wondering what’s that girl doing

up there in the sky––flying so close to the sun?

Some kind of myth. With pliers.

copyright 2015 Celeste Gainey

from The Gaffer, a collection of poems by Celeste Gainey, published by Arktoi

Celeste Author Photo

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This entry was posted on March 4, 2015 by in Poetry and tagged , , , , .

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