Monday, February 15, 2010

Speed of Light

for James Dean

Fast car. Fast car.
Liz in his thoughts;
the reek of his last
same-sexed lover 
still on his sheets.

Fast car. 
How fast can it go? 
Rev up the motor. 
Let out the throttle.
Full speed around
that next curve.

If he flies at the speed
of light, will he disappear
into the moon's belly,
he wonders?

He stubs out his last cig,
chugs down more Daniels.
The ghosts still won't slip off
his shoulder blades.

He's two people, and even
this fast, loud
little sports car
can't make the one
he hates go away.

Pris Campbell

Published in Remark Journal, 2006


mister jim said...

A wild one..
I didn't know much about
James Dean. Was he conflicted
with another self?

Pris said...

From what I knew at the time, he struggled with the demon, depression, and had conflicted feelings about his homosexuality. I had a close friend much like that who couldn't come out of the closet and had depressive swings who ultimately killed himself,

Kerry said...

Pris--Great poem. I love the way your poetry moves. What a trip taking a ride in James Dean's mind for a moment...tough stuff to deal with.

mister jim said...

Ah...interesting. I knew someone who
had trouble, depression and alcohol,
even after coming out. He went to a
simple job, a port city, AA, and a
Buddhist temple, last I knew. Was stable.
He thought working outdoors in the parks
dept. made a big difference.

For someone like James Dean, you wonder
whether there was ever any time to think,
with all the attention.

Pris said...

Hi Kerry, thanks. And yes, James Dean was a complex person.

Jim, being in the spotlight couldn't have been easy for him, I agree. I wonder with my friend if he'd gotten out of the high pressure job he was in and taken a simpler route he would've made it, too.

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

Terrific poem, Pris, and utterly believable. (Sadly.)

Middle Ditch said...

Yes, very sad ...... So young and such a future

Pris said...

Thank you both...and yes, what a waste that he died so young.