A Song for Paterson

I watched the movie, Paterson, on a Sunday night.
It was the story of Paterson, driver of the Paterson 23 bus
in Paterson, New Jersey
home of William Carlos Williams.

It was not lost on me that the star of this quiet movie
was named Driver, Adam, to be precise.
Adam, the first person we see,
Driver, the driver,
and poet, subject to real-life movie visions
of twins and repetitions.

He was lost in a joyful, patterned life.
I tried, sincerely, to hate this movie, since it had
a dog,
and we all know how I feel about dogs
and the wife was full of wild imaginings
all of which came true
in Paterson,
and she reminded me of how much I miss my wife
my little artist stroke musician, out there
somewhere, wandering as she is,
in the United Kingdom.

So, I tried to hate you, Paterson. I did.
I hated your pauses, and spaces, the quiet meter
and repetitions, the way you used blacks and whites
as though life was a roll of Kodak Tri-X film
dull monochrome, but affordable,
so you can shoot as much of it as you like.
I hated that it reminded me that I am
no longer a poet, in the same way that Paterson,
the driver, was not.

I wanted to hate you, Paterson,
in the way that I hate New Jersey
for pretending to live near New York City
when we all know it’s much closer to Pennsyltucky.
But as with most things I have wanted the most, I failed,
and so I gave you nine stars
on IMDB dot com,
removing that single, lonely star
for making me like Adam Driver,
whom I’d also previously decided to hate,
and for having that damned English bulldog.
Normally, that would have warranted the removal of two stars.
But the dog was the bad guy, and it pleased me
knowing that a few viewers of the movie—
by the end—
hated that dog as much as I already did.

So mad ups for that, Paterson,
and for the cameo by Method Man.

Were I still a poet,
I’d have written you a poem.

4 thoughts on “A Song for Paterson

  1. Maria a.k.a. Bess/Ishaiya says:

    Could have fooled me… 😉

    It’s nice to read your poetry again. Very tight, and well metered. I felt as I read that I were being jostled about like a pea in a confined space, hardly any room to move; but I liked the rhythm, the pulse, the beat of your talk.

    1. Bill Jones, Jr. says:

      Thanks, love. It’s a real compliment coming from you. I’ve always thought your work to be much more … poetic than mine. I liked the simple, almost prosaic meter of the poet in the movie, as though his poems were journal entries that only took one or two stops toward poetry along its route. I thought I’d try that — non-poem poetry. I’m glad you liked it.

      I’m going to see if I can illustrate all or most of blog posts myself. It will challenge my creativity, at least.

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