I am not one of those weak-spirited, sappy Americans who want to be liked by all the people around them. I don’t care if people hate my guts; I assume most of them do. The important question is whether they are in a position to do anything about it. My affections, being concentrated over a few people, are not spread all over Hell in a vile attempt to placate sulky, worthless shits.”
― William S. Burroughs
Say, kid, I used you like you some
When you were beautiful, but dumb.
Them pearly teeth, them rollin’ eyes —
Dreamy and of amazin’ size —
That leak large tears of glycerine,
When you got mushy on the screen,
They set my feelin’s all awhirl,
An’ made me go all goofy, girl.
Cutie, I fell for you, I did.
I thought you were a reel nice kid,
Them close-ups! Say! Them cunning’ curls!
You seemed the niftiest of girls.
Them swishy looks you slung about
When villainy was winning’ out
An’ you was suffering’ the jars
Of bad men chewing’ big seegars!
Aw, kid, my heart was wrung with woe
To see my baby treated so.
In agony I watched the screen,
An’ when I seen ’em treat you mean
I longed to leap from out my chair
An’ be your champeen then an’ there.
Yes, all het up I was each night.
You sure vamped me, all right, all right.
Why couldn’t I be well content
With gifts that Hollywood had sent
Of old — the sight of you so cute
Without no vocal attribute?
But, sweetie, man ain’t built that way.
I craved to hear them sweet lips say
One little sentence, soft an’ sweet,
To make my happiness complete.
Honey, you said … Oh, that night!
When my great love, conceived at sight,
Was buried in the cold, cold ground
Because the films took to sound.
A buzz-saw, Babe, believe me true,
Ain’t got one single thing on you;
For you sure spoke a noseful, kid,
I’ll tell the cock-eyed world you did.
First published in Stead’s Review, 1 November 1929