Ode to Paul Newman as Brick in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Blue eyes bore me, baby, but not yours,
blue as your bathrobe, bluer even, blue as
your convertible’s long blue body, wet with rain.
The only pair pretty enough to stare into Liz Taylor’s
and refuse her.
What is it about a man with a glass of whiskey in his hand?
What is it about a crutch, silk pajamas, a broken ankle?
I’m not even into feet, really, but the toes peeking
out from the white mass of cast, if they aren’t
the most beautiful toes
in the whole history of film—the big toe,
especially. All through the movie, Poor Liz struggles
to pronounce your name: Brig, Brig! she keeps insisting,
as if a soft terminal consonant is the only trick
to sounding Southern.
Me, I’m from New England; I like the ck
hard in my mouth. Why do you wear your wedding ring
on your pinky, Brick? Are your fingers too fat from the booze?
I’d jump out a hotel window over you. Wouldn’t it be funny
if that was true.
Jameson Fitzpatrick is an editorial assistant at Barrow Street and a poetry editor for LambdaLiterary.org. He lives in New York.