Monday, October 31, 2005

The Myth of the Shower Curtain

A Dialogue

“Psycho is your most disturbing film.
No shower for me since that day.
Bereft the pleasure of soothing
Stream of water warming,
Gone into the nightmare of your need,
People clutching their seats with fear,
I bathe, my back to the faucets
Face toward the door

“Don’t complain. I made you famous.
Marion Crane my creation for the world.
People buy shower curtains with
The silhouette of the murderer on them, you beneath.
The knife gave you immortality.”

“I gave the knowledge of an unsafe world,
And learned the dark side of your personality.
Day after day you placed that mummy in my dressing room,
Waiting for me to scream
Waiting for the moment
My fear would reach the breaking point.”

“I am the Director.
I give people what they want,
A view into the abyss,
The absolute knowledge that all can be lost
In the moment of a door opening
A figure moving toward a curtain
Lifting a knife.”

“I leave it to the stand-in, the only scene you let me use a stand-in for,
The woman Tony Perkins lugged from the bathroom
Wrapped in the shower curtain.
An unknown lump of flesh millions saw encased in plastic,
Dragged into the future
Forever fulfilling the myth of a world of horror.”

Susan Schefflein
Draft © 2005 S. Schefflein All Rights Reserved.


Susan said...

I watched the video of this and was so disappointed. All of the horror is gone once you know Anthony Perkins is the mother.

It had no horror at all. I should have stayed with the original memory and not gone down memory lane.

liz said...

I just re-read this....Psycho was one of my all time favorites, although insuring for years to come that I would never ever take a shower while alone in the house. Your poem brings it all back with some very effective images, and astute statements by the
"Director" who gives people "what they want" Did Hitchcock really say that? He certainly succeeded in making the world unsafe for showers. And per your comment, will it really relieve the fear factor to see it again in video?

Susan said...

Yes, Liz, try it on video and you will find that the great bubble is burst. The fangs are gone. Perhaps this is because you don't see it on the big screen, but I think it is because the element of surprise is gone.