George Melies 1929

George Melies at his toy stall in Montparnasse Station
George Melies at his toy stall in Montparnasse Station

Everyday at seven,

I open up my wooden shack.

To sell my wooden toys and games

to the loud lousy children of Montparnasse.

Why all of life seems wooden to me now,

A broken old man, on a broken old stool,

with barely two brass pennys to rub together.

And yet it wasnʼt always so.

Once, I was the master of this universe,

The greatest magician in all of Paris,

with a hundred men at my command

And robots too, clockwork automotons,

that danced like oiled marionettes,

in the foyer of my gold leafed theater.

Then there was the magic box,

the clicking-clacking lantern,

Eating silver strips of celuloid

And beaming out smokey moonlight.

Chopping up time into frames, train windows.

My ghost on a light and silver screen.

I danced in black and white.

And did amazing things,

turned marble statues into women

and women into skeletons,

and I juggled with my severed head,

and crashed into the moon’s right eye.

I tunnelled throught the earth hot core

and fought and beat the devil.

Or so it seemed,

for all of that is long gone now,

Just faded and forgotten,

like the brittle nitrate film,

on which it sits,

and here I sit,

waiting for my wife to come,

and bring some bread and cheese for lunch.