Untitled Blues For The Majestic Gentleman

BY JOEY SWEENEY  

In 1954

Billy Wilder stood on Lexington Avenue between 52nd and 53rd

to capture the hot wind of a subway vent

blowing up Marilyn Monroe's skirt

as a crowd of onlookers beheld the sight.

The screaming and hollering of the crowd,

hollering like we don't even know now,

rendered every shot of it unusable.

 

When I think of you

I think you must know this, Majestic Gentleman.

 

And I think you also know

- you must know

that the image and scene everyone knows

was in fact captured later

on a cool and silent

relatively silent, at any rate,

soundstage in Hollywood

 

Where looking was work

where you fake the moment until you can make the moment

but just like it is out on the street

You take whatever you can.