Connor and Jack discuss the ekphrastic poem, Decoy Gang War Victim by Carmen Gimenez Smith. They discuss the nature of acting and direction, the history of the photo from which the poem grew, the hard-to-pin-down voice of the poem's speaker, and much more.
EDIT: This episode was originally posted with an inaccurate title for the poem, "Decoy War Gang Victim." This has been corrected. We apologize for the mistake.
You can find the poem (along with the photograph) here: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poems/58875/decoy-gang-war-victim
You can buy Carmen Gimenez Smith's latest book "Be Recorder" here: https://www.graywolfpress.org/books/be-recorder
Decoy Gang War Victim
By: Carmen Gimenez Smith
For Harry Gamboa, Jr.
Just a tick ago, the actor was a Roman candle
shot to the sky, smudged by rain’s helter-
skelter. His motivation was: he’s a stooge
on L.A.’s sodden turnpike, so we have “to make” art. Got
to rezone and react. The world the bare wall to
his bullet. Got to rile up the populace, to fortify
the arsenal. Once in a while, repopulate and penetrate,
paint a list of incitement onto the walls.
An elder told him that to overturn the city, one must
surrender body/belongings to the one explosive
spectacle of truth, making it ongoing. Pay attention.
To overturn the city, not just the scraps but fervor itself.
Not just the wan broadcast of indignation but
IRL incursions into the workhouses and
poorhouses to inflame the thousand points of light.
A lean surge, departure pinks both ends of him.
He’s the nth layer folded into the stand’s nerve.
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