“Meeting Poets” by Daniel Shapiro

“Meeting Poets” (Unreleased Brian DePalma Thriller, ca. 1977)

Split screened, we see through both pairs of eyes simultaneously. Previous scenes revealed that the man (Christopher Walken) laughs in his poems but not in real life, while the Nancy Allen character is the opposite. While sauntering like only he can, Walken looks into the pale face of Allen and, smitten, trips on the sidewalk. This looks funny to her and would seem funny to him on paper. But in this world, Nancy Allen always dies. Always. Pino Donaggio’s soundtrack will surround the film’s few remaining scenes and edge out comprehension. Neither Walken nor Allen will be allowed to write. He will not be able to jot down the phrase “tripped on the sidewalk,” realize he could recast temporary embarrassment as timeless art. She will not be able to describe the horror of his sunken cheeks, the elongated eye contact. The two will not fall in MPAA-approved love or have airbrushed sex. They will certainly not write poems together that compensate for each other’s weaknesses. The director instead creates a simple tryst between Walken’s blade and Allen’s throat, a crimson-finale photocopy that pretends not to need paper.

More poetry at Used Furniture.

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