My Heart Leaps Up
My heart leaps up when I behold
A porn-site on the web:
So was it in postcards of old;
So it is now I am so old;
So be it when I shall behold
All in the web!
What I seek shall never come true
And I could wish a thought were there
That made them virginal in their deed.
Archive for the ‘parody’ Category
My Heart Leaps Up
Much have I pined in the paperwork,
And many accounts and books tallied;
Round many expense accounts have I rallied
And found how Corporate heads work.
Oft of one name in particular I shirk
To cite among many follies in my work:
Yet did I never breathe or e’en bark
Till I saw Madoff scheme take off sky-high:
Then felt I like some stupid pen-pusher
Wading through worthless assets rated high:
My eyes ever on entries and number
Must keep my judgment suspended-fie!
Work is worship: but a lean purse, my boon
I guess Madoff has his god of Mammon
Value Added Days
From too much love of texting,
From spams and bots set free;
We thank with brief thanksgiving
Whatever info we access,
We are glut with useless sites
That make even a chat with man
In real time, and of any news
Add value to time spent. (The Garden of Proserpine-Swinburne)
A Parody on the famous lines beginning with ‘Here with a Loaf of bread….
Here with a kindle O, beneath the Sun
A word or two from my love exchanged-
She has her Kindle too; let Khayyam
Find some other meter and rhyme.
The Tale of the Bull and the Ass ©
There was a merchant in Mosul and he had a wife by name Zainaba. She loved him to distraction. She wanted to engage him at all hours in conversation. While in the middle of crossword puzzle she was sure to ask whatever popped in her mind. It was her way of being of one mind. One day while he was testing his skills against so many other contestants ‘Who Want to be a Millionaire’ she called him up to ask if he remembered the last episode of ‘The Bold and the Beautiful.’ In trying to oblige her he lost his concentration and was eliminated at the penultimate round. Poor Faizal! There was no escape for him . She peppered him whether at home or by long distance.
So he took to his Koran and read at one stretch from the beginning to the end fifteen times. Every time he heard his wife’s footfalls he pushed a note for her, ‘Do not disturb! Angel Gabriel may strike me dead for impiety.’ Of course the ruse worked. Zainaba loved him as I said, to distraction. But to displease Allah, Oh no it was unthinkable.
On the fourth month Faizal was about to prepare for his evening prayer and an angel appeared and saluted him. The angel said he was sent to bless him for his devotion. ‘Such thirst for knowledge! Allah shall reward you, O righteous One.’
Faizal wasn’t sure what it was he wanted most. ‘May be you want to understand the mind of your devoted wife?’ the Angel prodded helpfully.
‘Oh no!’ he spluttered, ‘I would like to understand the animal talk. Cows chew the cud more than they care to talk. The ass may bray but only at the dawn.’ Faizal muttered aloud. The angel understood the drift and said, ‘Allah, the Most Benevolent is pleased to grant your heart’s desire.’
The angel warned Faizal not to tell this to another soul. Punishment for breaking his oath would be death, the angel had warned. Faizal was sure the chance to live among his farm animals and avoid having to answer all his wife’s questions was well worth the risk.
Thus Faizal began to show all of a sudden undue attention to his farm. His wife naturally wondered about this. Whenever she could buttonhole him he found excuses to remove himself. ‘The farm must need all the attention it can get,’ she said to herself.
One morning Faizal sat before the stalls to hear the Bull chat with the Ass.
He heard the Ass ask, ‘You think our master can follow our conversation?’
Mr. Bull said, ‘Our master is so pious that he only wants to make his wife think in the same lines as he does.’
The Ass exclaimed, ‘ If that is the case he doesn’t understand his wife at all.’
The Bull asked him to explain. The Ass said, ‘Every time I carry our mistress to the market or her folks she will tug at the reins or relax; and I instantly know what is expected of me. She tells me ‘I need to tell in many words to make your master do a thing. I wish he were as clever as you. Oh many a times I have nearly died of vexation!’’
The Bull nodded wisely, ‘Allah ought to have married her to you. Then our master would have been left in peace.’
The master burst out laughing. His wife came at that precise moment and asked, ‘What on earth has got into you!’
Faizal would not answer. It struck her odd. She came to his side, ‘No man laughs for nothing! Unless he is insane.’ She stood there and asked him to tell the reason.
‘No I cannot !’ Faizal replied. She became very amazed and suspected there was something very sinister in his laugh.
‘Why did you laugh?’ She pestered him for day and night. In the end wearied by her constant sulking and demands he thought it was better to be struck dead by the angel than living under the same roof with her. ‘I shall tell it all,’ he thought to himself, ‘and break my oath’.
Next morning he went to the Kazi’s office to set his affairs in order and came home.
The woman stood at the gate and asked eagerly, ‘Are you going to tell me or not?’
‘O woman,’ Faizal said wearily, ‘I will tell my secret after I have purified myself. For by telling it I shall die.’ Zainaba was so possessed by curiosity that she asked him to get ready.
While he was washing himself in an out-house adjoining the house he saw all the farm animals wore a sad expression except a cock that strutted among some fifty hens. The dog asked if he didn’t care for the fate of his master.
‘Why should I if he cannot manage one woman in his household?’ Faizal realized that the cock managed his harem as he deemed fit and the hens were all contented for his highhandedness.
After the ceremonial wash he went into the house. His wife approached him to ask, ‘Are you going to tell your secret or not?’ He reached for his walking stick and beat her till she pleaded mercy.
‘Do you still want to hear my secret?’
‘Oh no!’ wailed the woman.
He threatened to beat her if she ever irritated him with unnecessary demands.
She promised not to repeat this and said she had learned her lesson.
That night he went to make peace with her. After all they had lived some forty years and raised children. He tried to speak but could only bray. His wife wondered what got into him.
A month later she was going to visit her son and along the way she told the Ass, ‘I got the most wonderful husband. He is pearl among men. He loves my company and makes me feel like a woman. Only fault is that he brays like you. Then no man is perfect.’
“He is Romeo, a Montague..’©
Summer solstice 2398
“I am an android. My name is not important. I see your eyebrows go up already. You see me as different from you. Don’t you? If I can talk in the manner of man and accept you for what you are take me as I am. You are a man and I am almost a man,- an android. Now that you have come visiting I will make an exception.
If you are still particular for such things as my name, color, and family particulars here is my handle: Will. As for other things in the Constellation Cygnet W-346 the rest is silence”.
Three moons later.
“Man you have aged since I saw you last. Here let me show two of your folks we have been holding in our lab. See the fellow there. He is Veronese whatever that means. Ah I see your eyes pop up. OK he is an Italian I gather from your look of shock. Hold Still. Let me gather whatever intelligence I can gather from your O. So he is Romeo and the lady,chit of a girl is Juliet. Their names ring no bell here. Sorry man. You are now palavering. Stop fidgeting. I am reading as best as I can from your biorhythm. Steady old man! What has come over you? You are reciting snatches of your thoughts.”
“He jests at scars that never felt a wound./But soft ! what light through yonder window breaks? ”
“I feel you may soon froth at the mouth,- and you are as if stricken with some fever, uexplained.”
“Now I will try to make you get back your balance. There is nothing to get excited about. What is in a name? I shall take you myself to where Romeo stands. I ought to tell you that we had him reanimated from cold death. We put him within slabs of ice when we brought him here first. He with the girl lay in some ruined vaults. We thought we may have something real from your world.”
“Are you surprised that we use first person plural? Here we hold no difference between a professor or a sweeper. How Professor W-III reassemble dead carcass to life or the varlet who sweeps whatever left of the operation are part and parcel of the same world we all occupy.”
“Oh I can see you are all astir. I shall led you to Romeo and he is a fellow who loves to watch.”.
“No I didn’t say balcony. You shall see for yourself what I mean.”
“Man you positively froth at the mouth. So a man wants to watch. You said Peeping Tom! One moment you thought him as some god, so special. Next moment you stand in judgment of him. What kind of a conduct! Scandalous!”
“So he prefers watching pornographic images than talking to Juliet. Is it of any concern to you? He is merely behaving like the rest of us”.
“I grant you that too much watching is as bad as your mouthing some silly snatches that are not your own invention.”
“Thou canst not speak of what thou does’t not feel.(Ac IIIscIII)”
“I see you are still perplexed. If you must know I am William Shakespeare.”
A Hollywood story
Billy Wilder, a great Hollywood director, decided to make a film about the thing he knew best – Hollywood. In Sunset Boulevard he made a film that echoes Hollywood obsession with its own past. Extreme vanity, madness, obsession and murder are all given space here in this tale of a faded silent film star in her twilight years and the younger man whose cynicism is swept aside by her overpowering fantasies.
Cops, with sirens blaring, rush to a mansion on Sunset Boulevard. In the swimming pool floats the corpse of a man, face down. A cynical male voice-over:
You’ll get it over your radio and see it on television because an old-time star is involved – one of the biggest. But before you hear it all distorted and blown out of proportion, before those Hollywood columnists get their hands on it, maybe you’d like to hear the facts, the whole truth. If so, you’ve come to the right party. You see, the body of a young man was found floating in the pool of her mansion – with two shots in his back and one in his stomach. Nobody important, really. Just a movie writer with a couple of ‘B’ pictures to his credit. The poor dope! He always wanted a pool. Well, in the end, he got himself a pool…
He is Joe Gillis (William Holden), a hard-up screenwriter with debts to pay (“Waiting, waiting for the gravy train.”). We’re in flash back. Joe has peddling the script that could save him from his creditors, without success. He spots the guys who are out to repossess his car and he evades them at speed. When he gets a flat, he pulls into the driveway of a run-down mansion in Beverly Hills. In a commanding voice, a woman calls him into the dilapidated old house. The butler ushers him upstairs into the presence of a lady of a certain age (Gloria Swanson), wearing a leopard skin headscarf.
Joe: You’re Norma Desmond. You used to be in silent pictures. You used to be big.
Norma: I am big. It’s the pictures that got small.
Norma lectures Joe on the sorry state of the movie biz and then Joe inveigles himself into a job. He is to script her comeback vehicle, an update version of Salome. Joe needs the money and accepts, even though he realizes nothing will come of the movie. The only catch is that he must stay with her while he writes. So he becomes a prisoner of this sad old has-been and her stern butler/chauffeur, Max (Erich von Stroheim), a once great director reduced to domestic service.
She is still in a warp and on the giddy heights of a lost career – plain crazy when it came to that one subject: her celluloid self.
Wilder built on the self-reference that permeates the film by incorporating clips of Swanson’s performance in the unfinished Queen Kelly, directed by von Stroheim, as the work of Norma Desmond. Unlike Desmond, Swanson did not become a twisted neurotic, although she gives a convincing portrayal of mental instability. Her performance as Desmond stunned critics and public alike.
Billy Wilder fell out with Charles Brackett, his producer and collaborator on the Oscar-winning screenplay. They never worked together again. Brackett had wanted a light comedy but Wilder took the film to a darker place. He got Sunset Boulevard to work as black comedy, film noir, melodrama and satire. He made many great movies, perhaps, most famously, Some Like it Hot, but Sunset Boulevard is the pinnacle of his output.
Joe Gillis: William Holden
Norma Desmond: Gloria Swanson
Max Von Mayerling: Erich von Stroheim
Betty Schaefer: Nancy Olson
Artie Green: Jack Webb
Himself: Cecil B. DeMille
Herself: Hedda Hopper
Himself: Buster Keaton
Himself: H.B. Warner
Herself: Anna Q. Nilsson
* Best Art Direction
* Best Score (Drama or Comedy)
* Best Story and Screenplay – Charles Brackett, Billy Wilder, D.M. Marshman Jr.
National Film Registry, Library of Congress Selected as one of 25 landmark films, leading examples of American cinematic art.
Although Norma Desmond never gets her come-back, Sunset Boulevard was a spectacular return for Gloria Swanson, who gives an outstanding performance.
You see, this is my life. It always will be! There’s nothing else – just us – and the cameras – and those wonderful people out there in the dark.
All right, Mr. De Mille, I’m ready for my close-up.
In the 1920s, Swanson really had been an immensely popular star of the silent screen and reportedly the mistress of Joseph Kennedy. Similarly, Erich von Stroheim, who really had been a great director, is cast as a once great director. As ever his acting is riveting.
Giants of the movie industry appear in cameo roles: Buster Keaton and H.B. Warner are in Norma’s bridge group. Director Cecil B. deMille, columnist Hedda Hopper and others all appear as themselves.