Poem of the Week | August 18, 2014

This week we’re delighted to feature a new poem by Rebecca Hazelton. Hazelton is the author of Fair Copy (Ohio State University Press, 2012), winner of the 2011 Ohio State University Press / The Journal Award in Poetry, and Vow, from Cleveland State University Press. She was the 2010-11 Jay C. and Ruth Halls Poetry Fellow at the University of Wisconsin, Madison Creative Writing Institute and winner of the “Discovery” / Boston Review 2012 Poetry Contest. Her poems have appeared in Poetry, AGNI, Smartish Pace, and Best American Poetry 2013.
Author’s note:

“We’ll fix it in post” is a phrase used in filmmaking to excuse an error an editor will have to deal with in post-production. It suggests a certain sloppiness on the part of the filmmaker. I like this phrase as applied to things that aren’t easily fixable, like life-threatening illness, marital infidelity, and big cats.


We’ll Fix It In Post


Please ignore the leopard. The leopard is a continuity issue
we’re aware of. We’re aware the lead actor has one leg
in the first scene and two legs in the second. There are issues
with setting in the third. There is no possible way the light
across the kitchen table could be that golden, or the lead
actress could look so—the notes here say bereft?—when
learning of her husband’s affair. The affair feels cheap.
Let’s give him cancer instead. No. Keep the affair,
and give her cancer. We’ll begin with a close up on the shunt
in her chest. So brave. Her first tattoo a black pin-prick
for radiation. Now let’s have that golden light again—-
can she be a blonde? Get makeup on this—then pan out
to the other sad sacks in the chemo chairs. Then farther.
Let’s take a tour down the hospital halls. I want suffering
front and center, but clean. No bedpans. No vomit.
A few marijuana jokes here. Maybe a wacky doctor.
Then let’s have the lead actor shows up to say he’s sorry;
he’s so sorry that he’s had a leg removed to show solidarity.
I think we can make this work. Let’s cut in the leopard
stalking the halls but keep it clear of the children’s wing.
The leopard isn’t a metaphor for death.
There’s nothing stalking us. Everyone here is union.