"And you will face the sea of darkness, and all therein that may be explored"OOOooozing holes in
the warlock's chain-whipped latex face
melts from loud Italian pop balladry
adding irony- like Hercules hurling
the inapropriate discus
to the unclean, popcorn-and-sticky coke film
the sweet century-old sweat of the Avalon.
drive-ins with smashed speakerbox
and dusty drape air thick as a black sea,
and pink foam for blood, and a painting
all that may be explored is gore
Sex gone stale and musty,
cheap brown pot sprayed with formaldehyde
smoked in the front row,
two derelict junkies snoring, two muttering,
The white-eyed girl on the one and only bridge to hell,
the spiders pull pink strands of latex from the lips
of fallen librarians;
all commingles and conjoins in acrid haze
as eyes by rusty towel hook deface.
German signs taped to New Orleans doors,
Fabio Frizzi's unclean synth scores,
girls in skirts approval wave,
zombies shamble to grooves from graves.
Shepherds bite the throats of maids
and out upon the dock
between Italy and me
I spit seawards
Without the drive-in box, the Roxy smells,
what survives to make The Beyond worth a DVD?
Seek you what dark sea pleasures you may find there
as the disc spins under the laser's reddened eye
like grey wheels spin over that long ass sea,
like flying spittle
aimed with undead shark fight accuracy
(oh wait that's Zombie)
aimed with all therein that may be explored
flies my fake-ass pink foam spit back into my warlock face
(for Final Girl's Film Club): focus on Lucio Fulci's THE BEYOND).
Many people complain about this film that there is no story, it's just a series of gross out scenes, etc. What this poem intends to do is place the "Fulci Experience" in the proper grindhouse/drive-in context. The Beyond was never meant, perhaps, to be watched with a focused eye, sober, at home, by yourself, taking notes. It was meant to be somewhere in a late night triple bill. You were supposed to be making out or shooting up for most of it, pausing only to occasionally look up at the carnage. Like Argento's SUSPIRIA-period films, it's more like an amusement park spook show than a movie, per se, and it's no doubt meant to be. Spookery is an international language, while plot and dialogue are easily lost in the international swinger audience shuffle.
The weird mix of English dub and German signs over American hospitals adds to the tower of babble effect: the visceral cinematic language of Fulci is above all anti-structuralist. Words are meaningless, lies or esoteric curses, and once the border between life and death is crossed, all the world's a graveyard of the real.
In this poem I wanted to create that feeling of being immersed in the unpleasant but fascinating world of "ugly" cinema, the ground zero of sleaze where making out or getting high in the dark accompanies onscreen imagery of decapitation and gore, creating a sludgy feel of anger and rage, vented in this case at Fulci "across the sea" in much the same way the lynch mob travels across the river to burn and torture the warlock in the pre-credit sequence of the film. Once we step out of the normal tedium of parentally sanctioned reality, the movie warns us, there is no going back to the delusions of "reason."