Happy Birthday Jack Nicholson! Born Today, April 22, in 1937…
“Star quality is if you’re on stage and a cat walks on and they still watch you.” - Jack Nicholson
Over 70 film and television roles including The Little Shop of Horrors, Ensign Pulver, Easy Rider, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, Five Easy Pieces, Carnal Knowledge, The Last Detail, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Chinatown, The Shining, The Postman Always Rings Twice, Reds, Terms of Endearment, Prizzi’s Honor, Broadcast News, Batman, A Few Good Men, Hoffa, About Schmidt, Something’s Gotta Give, The Departed, The Bucket List…
Second Sunday of May.
Don’t even get me started
on those three days
of the year.
I’ve scrawled hundreds of poems for you across a decade,
written on daisy seeds in red crayon, pushed into dirt,
because I’m running out of ways to reach you.
I’m still collecting tail feathers
and pasting them to my palms,
because you are the only prayer left
to give to a god who suffered an autumn death.
You are my Melpomene and my Thalia.
You are my Buttercup and my Dobby.
You are my Coach Dale and my Ensign Pulver.
You are my Sir,
and no words in the sky or gift given moon
will ever be enough to prove
that they no longer make people as good as you.
Buffy Summers and I have a lot in common.
We’re tiny, feisty, blonde chicks.
School was never really our scene.
We’re not too keen on vampires -
unless they look like David Boreanaz or James Marsters.
Rupert Giles is our idol;
we have siblings that do nothing but annoy.
We both lost our matriarch to an aneurysm
and it almost destroyed us.
I fantasize of alternate realities
where a thirteen year old had the superpower
of saving you.
How I envy the fictional.
Billy Elliot got a letter.
Harry Potter got the resurrection stone.
Simba got the stars.
Maybe if we hadn’t left Disneyland
your blood would never have betrayed you.
You are the reason I never wear my glasses;
because if the way I walk is enough
for someone to see you in me,
if I became bespectacled on a daily basis
I’d be forever invisible inside your memory.
Seeing your face in the mirror
is a daily ritual I have come to cherish and dread;
the burden I do not mind carrying.
I’d like to think I’d be the same person
were you here for all the years,
but somehow slightly better.
I’d also like to think that
if heaven were, hypothetically, a real place,
you’d be proud of me.
Despite of everything,
and you’d be bragging to William Shakespeare and Gilda Radner
“That’s my daughter.
That is my daughter.
That’s my girl,”
but the day you died
was the day I buried my belief in god
deep in the ground.
I know now that hell is just a fable
to make children better behaved,
because I’m always begging the devil to come take my soul
if he just gave me
one more day.
(I’m still waiting for that motherfucker
to answer my phone calls.)
This is far from the first poem
I wrote you twelve years ago, and
it certainly won’t be the last.
I will never stop writing you this poem;
I will never stop looking for the perfect way to say