Toby Dammit (1968)


Toby Dammit (1968) c. 30 Min. Color. In the third episode of the film anthology Spirits of the Dead, Fellini freely improvised on Bernardino Zapponi’s gothic screenplay of Edgar Allen Poe’s “Never Bet Your Head on the Devil,” keeping only the ending from the original.


Fame spreads its miasmic glow,

Airport to airport, yellowing

ART SWIRLING COLOR tumblr_npzmufqur01qav3uso1_540

Beneath clinical fluorescence.


Nuns giggle and flee, people gasp


Nuns 2 tumblr_o6c0bqai7w1snlnsio1_540

And draw back; any flies swarming

Forward must be the paparazzi.

Itinerant and distraught

Terrence Stamp giphy

Imitation of Poe, a failed talent,


Toby, mocks the fake adoration.


LSD makes the brain more flexible

By breaking down what keeps

Fractal Melt giphy

 Neural circuits separate,


So he feels one with God


Or the Devil, cross-talking from


Ego depletion and color saturation.


Apostates from the Vatican


Sanction this Western Crucifixion


Film to sell Christ to pop culture,

But the gypsy refuses to read Toby’s palm;

“Dusky death…dusky death,” the Scottish play

Bagpipes 200Bagpipes 200


Goes, making him laugh and weep.

Cult of the personality has taken over.

MAO giphy

There’s even a stunt double in Mexican


Rawhide who rides in to pose beside him.


What you see is what you get; depth

Has left poetry, Poe, and its sounds

POE giphy

Are dubbed in during post-production.

 SHAKESPEARE tumblr_mz0dyxFlCK1qkdrkzo1_r3_500

Caricature doodles across burnt-out

PICASSO tumblr_nv1h5nzstw1qav3uso1_500

Walls gleeful images too self-aware

Warholl:Pinball 200

Ever to be taken seriously,

 Warhol: 15 Min Fame giphy

But Toby has lost his head over


A Ferrari, blood red, with which to speed


Down Roman back roads.

 tree drive

Catacombs loom, a barista doll

Bobs like a stuffed penguin, road


Blocks keep popping up,

Rome giphy 

But Toby will have none of it,


Gunning for his Lolita


On the other side of that bridge.

[Disposable Poem April 17, 2016]

Dr. Mike



                                           Click to listen.


















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