it’s tough when no one understands you
typecasting was the bane of my career
I auditioned for The Champ, nothing against Wallace Beery
but I was born for that part
it was sheer prejudice I didn’t get it
no one understood I could appreciate the finer things
no one wanted to know me
I was the hood, the thug
who fit into their little fictions ever so neatly
I was the “ruin the party” kind of guy
which is as far from truth as can be imagined
I was discovered on the Continent
Saint Peter of the cards and cups
a conjurer, prestidigitator extraordinaire
I performed before royalty!
I charmed each and everyone, and I believed
I could snatch the new illusion of film from thin air
spin it into eternal magic — to transform
the delight of hand quicker then the eye
the practiced patter, the stutter
of misdirected anticipation
the delight of the reveal
turn it into light and sound
what can I say? I was as much seduced as creator
but film, it stripped it all away, made me
black and white
and this is what remains — I’m the bad guy
if I only I had known
but it’s too late now for the road not taken

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