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Customer Complaints at the Dream Factory

Classic Hollywood,
the so-called 'Dream Factory'
whose seductive screen
sheds visual glitter that twinkles
in pairs of paid up audience eyes
but silently weighs heavy as
lead shot on the imagination.

Served up
"Brought to you by"
Ladled on
"And now, the sequel to"
Hammered in
"Coming soon, the follow-up to the sequel to"

Meanwhile reappearing
as a barrage of other commodities,
selling a mood, a look,
a lifestyle ... a way of being,

And then ...
emerging without warning
into intimate exchanges
when the lights are low,
when you're getting cozy,
when there's the kind of quiet in the room
that's sweeter even
than the hush
of night air outside a bar
on escaping the tyranny
of overheard pretentious conversations
between uptight yuppies
and media preeners,
when the tv's off,
the stereo buried
beneath warm clothes,
then ...

when the richness
of your own experience
momentarily overlaps
with a gimicky representation
all of a sudden
real life feels
'just like the movies'.

Sick of that simplicity,
but seduced and succumbed,
and frustrated to be stuck with
a mental scrapbook of images
cooked up by a bunch of strangers
when I was too young to realise,

I want to fight back with a
volley of anomalies
and trolley loads of
nitty gritty sights and smells
and noises and knowings
encounters, experiences,
feelings and fleetings
refuting the theory
that the look is the meaning.

I want to gather quirky tales
of life despite the movies
not just souls laid bare
for the sake of it
not just the weird bits of life
to be dubbed
surreal, ironic,
or any filmic excuse
for deliberately
defying the formula.

That fragmented experience
is not my experience
and that film factory
is not where
my dreams are made.

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