whaddya hear whaddya say: watching Jimmy Cagney

one forgets
how graceful
he was
acting with every part
of his body
that dancer training
coming into play
the quintessential tough guy
chip on his shoulder
the old one two
too smart
for his own good
never totally bad
but always
that Irish heart
glowing
love for the girl
on the right side
of the tracks
and he
always from the wrong
part of the city
that hitching
of his shoulders
just before
he carries on
always dying
in a blaze of gunfire
or the chair
pretending to be
yellow
as a favor
for his childhood pal
Pat O’Brien
the priest
even though
his character
had no need
of redemption
he took
whatever punishment
or justice
that came his way
with the same
tilt of the head
those eyes
defiant
the hint
of a smile
on his lips

26 thoughts on “whaddya hear whaddya say: watching Jimmy Cagney

    • Nothing wrong being an old timer. New place is great but still settling in. Most of the boxes are unpacked but I still have sorting to do in my den and the upstairs living room (it’s a duplex). But the downstairs is finished and since yresterday I can watch movies again, and I’ve had music since Monday. This place will be peaceful for me.

  1. OK. Listen here man. Great picture of a great actor. What I don’t get is which bloody poems do you write and which ones do you highlight from some Kerouacian, Ginsbergian or Taoist long dead poet. In the long run, I don’t suppose it matters, because it is a way of holding on to a world of our youth that the young bastards seem to have co-opted. Oh man, I do so remember those years. But I was younger.

    • If I acknowledge a translator or an original author, they are not mine. Otherwise anything else is my own. I often take a line from somewhere/somebody else and follow where it leads me but I’ll credit where I got the line or image from in the title. But what follows are also mine.

      • Right. I wasn’t accusing you of anything. It’s just that so much of what you write takes me back to the days of my university stupidity. Seriously, it is all so magical I think I am back in the then. And I often take one fragment and without even knowing the source I just wander on.

      • I didn’t think you were. I just thought you wanted clarification. As for fragments taking one back to then, I understand completely.

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