Toby Dammit (1968)

toby_dammit

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

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Beneath clinical fluorescence.

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Nuns giggle and flee, people gasp

NUNS LOOSE giphy

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And draw back; any flies swarming

Forward must be the paparazzi.

Itinerant and distraught

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Imitation of Poe, a failed talent,

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Toby, mocks the fake adoration.

                              mock

LSD makes the brain more flexible

By breaking down what keeps

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 Neural circuits separate,

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So he feels one with God

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Or the Devil, cross-talking from

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Ego depletion and color saturation.

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Apostates from the Vatican

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Sanction this Western Crucifixion

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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.

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There’s even a stunt double in Mexican

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Rawhide who rides in to pose beside him.

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What you see is what you get; depth

Has left poetry, Poe, and its sounds

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Are dubbed in during post-production.

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Caricature doodles across burnt-out

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Walls gleeful images too self-aware

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Ever to be taken seriously,

 Warhol: 15 Min Fame giphy

But Toby has lost his head over

Ferrari

A Ferrari, blood red, with which to speed

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Down Roman back roads.

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Catacombs loom, a barista doll

Bobs like a stuffed penguin, road

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Blocks keep popping up,

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But Toby will have none of it,

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Gunning for his Lolita

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On the other side of that bridge.

[Disposable Poem April 17, 2016]

Dr. Mike

 

 

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