Author Archives: m.j.smith

About m.j.smith

Instructor of English Composition and Literature


It is so sad that no new movies have been made in Hollywood since the late 90s. They were getting pretty thin even then, but after the fin de siècle, I quit wasting my time in those arid, antiseptic chrome and neon crap-factories.

I miss going to the movies like I did when I was young. Sure, it’s nice to go to a variety of events now that I’m older such as poetry readings, drag shows, burlesque shows, lectures, and debates. But there is a certain excitement that would come from the smell of popcorn and the sound of swelling strings, when the previews were even more fun than the feature.

The strings are gone – replaced by moronic hip hop and synthesized walls of soulless noise. The previews are a parade of cynical exercises in demographically motivated graverobbing. Idiots like Ridley Scott manage to cannibalize their own corpses. Sandwiched between the trailers are commercials, since movies exist for tie-in merchandising and not the reverse.

The dreamhouses have become nightmares. And no one has made a new movie in 20 years.

The Dance of Changes

Summer hills in California
are yellow with sunburnt foxtail and mustard weed.
Imagine your way back before
their seeds were brought from Spain
caught in the wool of sheep.
Imagine the short grass still green
around Painted Rock
under a solstice moon.
See the robes of pelican and eagle
feathers bounce and float,
bounce and float on the backs
of the dancers circling night and day.
The red ochre paint on the rock still shines
as bright as a wound.
Brown girls in a row stand naked
under the full moon.
Imagine their transformation
from girls to women.
Imagine this place without us
as I imagine how you
once stood by a frozen lake
at dawn
watching geese take flight
toward the rising sun.

by m.j.smith