“Letter to Amy Adams” by Brian Wood

The theatre is almost full, just past two
On Saturday. The film is close to being
Done, with most of the audience, I would say,
Mentally checked out quite awhile ago. No–
Nobody, me included, came here hoping
To think. Robin Williams (What? He must need
The work) plays TR, reduced to mere cliché;
Although he fares much better than Lincoln , who,
Of all people, spouts dull platitudes; & so
It goes–history for the folks who don’t read.

So why am I here? Beauty? Undisputed;
Plus, you seem almost quaint; about your juicy
Private life, the fewer details, the better.
As usual, you’re treading that line you like
To play–acting right out of ‘I Love Lucy.’
Smiling, you ask us: “Can this really be true?
Me? Amelia Earhart? She wasn’t ever
Like this: didn’t anyone see ‘Enchanted?'”
Even though your ear is perfect, & you strike
No false note… still, you’re almost too funny, too

Over the top; but you don’t wink at us, as
So many actors, even the best ones, do.
No: your Earhart is sharp, witty & smart &
About ready to be in her first big show,
You know the kind–she’s sweet & true,
He means well but is a loveable poltroon,
Usually lasts 13 weeks, then gets canned.
Since I’m watching “family” fare, the film has
To recap the story for us, nice & slow.
Now that our star’s heart is bigger than the moon,

It’s time he wrapped things up (quickly) with his love
Interest: he knows you, but isn’t quite set
To ask you out, so they have one extra scene:
In this picture, love must conquer & amend.
He’s awkward, & coughs & stumbles & stares; yet
With that quick lissome grace girls in movies have,
You teach his eyes, you are, for him, all things seen;
He takes your hand, & both of you, slowly, move
Off into that happy place where movies end;
On screen, no problem that beauty cannot save.

Yet you remain so stunning in that last scene;
Your face, light of a thousand lamps; those blue eyes,
Deeper than any ocean, an ideal match
To sky; their softness only veils their power.
The music they’ve picked for this shot is all sighs,
Pure yearning in A Major. Could it be we
Go to the movies for this? That funny catch
In the throat, a sign of something perfect, clean?
Found anywhere, even if it’s just in our
Minds, somehow out of reach? That it’s good to see

The big stars, better than us, having just too
Good a time? Their dinner for two at Cachet
Certaine… where there’s never that pie-eyed loud guy
Right next to you, & the high windows all shut,
So you hear each last boring word? Don’t we set
Up to fail, since the ideal can be so rare?
Amy, on the day I saw your movie, I
Was getting up my nerve to try something new,
That is, the non-ideal. It was a chance; but
For once I would be bold, for once I would dare.

Unlike your diaphanous roles, she does not
Glide from act to act, ever bright, light & fun,
A gleeful twinkle, a voice falling “as they
Say love should.” Unlike you, no offscreen presence
Pays her bills. Unlike you, her temper can run
Hot; not your playing kind, but a boiling lake
Of fire; when people annoy her, they should pray
That she doesn’t have time to line up her shot.
She spends 1/3 of her time planning vengeance;
Those who charge “service” fees make a big mistake.

I used to think it was silly to reach for
What you see in the movies, where love attends
And rescues, since it can produce such friction:
Reality has a way of tempering
Our dreams, that feed on hope, with unhappy ends…
But Amy, this girl I’m telling you about
Is proof that what you have there on screen, heaven
Though it seem, is mere show, an image, a poor
Choice, when the sun lies next to me, glimmering.
And now that you & Larry are cleared of doubt,

Ready for the next sequel, this time set in
The Guggenheim, probably, what will become
Of you? Doesn’t matter: nothing you have can stand.
Don’t get me wrong– you are still most wonderful,
In your fashion. But I can’t, now, wish for some
Thing, or idea, that’s flawed in its premise,
A flimsy shanty built on the wettest sand,
Laughable lies. To pine for what you see on
Screen, no matter how bright, pure or delightful,
Means loss; a chance of a real, possible, bliss.

“Brian Wood was born in 1970 and attended the University of Ottawa and the University of Toronto, receiving a Master’s degree in English in 1994 after putting his professors through hell. After graduating he moved to Vancouver where he worked for Coles and then Indigo. In 2006, he became a literary agent, representing such people as Bob McKenzie, Al Strachan, Brian Kilrea, and James Duthie. He enjoys watching NFL games on TV, reading, writing, playing tennis, and listening to music, and in roughly that order. On a more personal note, he married his publicist, Rachel Sentes, in July 2013.

His website is www.brianjwood.com

 His book was released Nov. 27, 2013


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