A Journal of Poetry and Kindred Prose

Robert E. Wood

is an Associate Professor in the School of Literature, Communication, and Culture at Georgia Tech. His film studies include essays on Fosse, DePalma, and Verhoeven, as well as The Rocky Horror Picture Show. He is the author of Some Necessary Questions of the Play, a study of Hamlet.

Previous poetry publications include The Chattahoochee Review, Southern Humanities Review, South Carolina Review and flashquake.

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French Movie

Even if they stopped smoking
the French would have something to do with their hands.
There’s always bread
to carry under the arm, place on the table
cut with a gleaming knife.
(A useful tool if panivorous silence turns to rage.)

Silence is necessary
or else all passion turns to nonchalance in a phrase.
Une femme d’un certain âge, par exemple,
ou ménage à trois.

So pauses dominate if the goal is Cannes.
Sometimes it’s best if one character speaks no French
and the subtitles are white on white
and we aren’t sure if the lovers are brother and sister
and someone has paused on a bridge at night.