“Say Goodbye to Hollywood” by Henry Crawford

[Shot] [in a single take] [with no lighting] [and no sound] [some believed] [The Black Movie] [would fail] [at the box office] [when it opened] [a confused] [audience] [sat in dark silence] [until] [someone shouted] [What’s going on here?] [a few rows away] [another person added] [What are we doing here?] [other patrons] [joined in] [with things like] [We’re getting ripped off!] [bringing still others] [to yell] [Shut up!] [with repeated viewings] [people came to memorize] [this banter] [cult followers] [came in] [to Tweet] [the words] [and complicated discussions] [broke out] [in Reddit] [to determine] [the exact text] [people would show up] [just to be the first] [to say] [the line] [What’s going on here?] [while others assembled costumes] [the “shut up” guy] [might come in as] [an auto mechanic] [name written in script] [on his shirt pocket] [if spoken by a woman] [she might come] [dressed as a nun] [toting] [an oversized ruler]

[the intelligentsia] [paid close attention] [to the long existential] [discussion that came] [somewhere around] [the midpoint] [where the original question] [What are we doing here?] [was often restated as] [Why are we here?] [lacking a soundtrack] [amateur musicians] [would come in] [with their Fender guitars] [penny whistles] [and accordions] [but you had to be good] [or the hoots] [and hollers] [might enter the cannon] [in time] [a wedding scene] [emerged] [around the three-quarter mark] [and people were routinely married] [in theaters] [conducted in the dark] [by red-capped] [popcorn attendants] [but eventually] [there would come a long silence] [signaling] [the film’s] [finale] [and there would be weeping] [sadness for some] [joy for others] [but despite the confusion] [they always knew] [when it was over] [and someone] [in a charcoal] [pin-striped suit] [would stand up] [and announce] [The End]

Henry Crawford’s work has appeared in several journals and online publications including Boulevard, Copper Nickel,  and Poets Reading the News. His first collection of poetry, American Software, was published in 2017 by CW Books. His second collection of poetry, The Binary Planet, is scheduled for publication by The Word Works in the spring of 2020. His poem The Fruits of Famine, won first prize in the 2019 World Food Poetry Competition. His poem Blackout was selected by the Southern Humanities Review as a finalist in the 2018 Jake Adam York Witness Poetry Contest. His poem Making an Auto Insurance Claim was selected as an honorable mention in Winning Writer’s 2019 Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest. His multi-media work, Gettysburg Auto Tour, was selected as a finalist for the Deanna Tulley Multimedia Prize. His website is HenryCrawfordPoetry.com and his online gallery is HenryCrawfordPoetry.com/poems/online.

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