Orson Welles: A Poem

October 10, 2015 at 7:49 pm (Culture, Entertainment, Film, Movies, Plays, Radio, Stage) (, )

Orson Welles: A Poem

From an adaptation of MacBeth set on the island of Haiti
to a rich man dying for his childhood sled
from a Haitian Cain to a Charles Foster Kane
he traversed the realm of human character.
Whether it was the Martians landing in New Jersey
or a magnificent Amberson getting his comeuppance
he traversed 20th century mediums from stage to radio to film.

Whether it was chimes at midnight for a Sir John Falstaff
or an escaped Nazi getting stabbed in the back by a moving clock piece on a clock tower in The Stranger
Welles traversed the sands of time from medieval Europe to 20th Century New England.

Whether playing an Irish sailor on a boat for a lady from Shanghai
or a gangster named Arkadin flying solo in a plane in the air above Spain
Welles transported himself through nationality and locale with ease.

From a mysterious third man in Vienna to a shady police captain on the U.S.- Mexico border
Welles mixed a touch of evil with a slice of lime
and like a cat with 9 lives, he revises a dead film character on radio.

From playing the Shadow on radio to casting a huge shadow on techniques of film making
Welles was a giant
and pygmies do not take well to giants
Like a Swiftian hero under Lilliputian ropes
Welles found himself tied by Hollywood moguls
for Welles created great art and not massive profits
he honoured Apollo the god of the arts
and they honoured Mammon the god of money
He reverenced Shakespeare
and they reverenced a rising investment portfolio
He loved the language of the Bible
and they loved the numbers that grew in account book ledgers.

So the only magic Welles would perform in later years was on stage in front of live audiences
instead of magic on the screen in cinemas in front of moviegoers
performing tricks of sleight of hand
instead of tricks of sleight of camera

He did TV commercials for Paul Masson wines where he sold no wine before its time
to doing radio ads showing the absurdity of peas growing in the snow in Lincolnshire in July
to fjords in Norway where the cod gather in great shoals and grow “crumb, crisp coating”.

That final interview on the Merv Griffin Show 30 years ago tonight
Welles reconciled with warthogs and the spirit of his late former wife Rita Hayworth
and then would go home and enter eternity.

-A poem written by Christopher
Saturday October 10th 2015
30 years to the night after
the death of Orson Welles.

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