160. to see a paris, tempered (cont.)

on the shores of babylon
(what, you know, the set was on),
a scuttler, crab, crustacean, clad,
offered george to take a nap

the crab, of course, was not a crab,
really, just a man in drag,
stuffed into a suit for some
movie ‘bout a beach that combs

turns out there are thousands of ‘em,
tiny men who play the roles of
string, or ships, or decorations,
whiskey glasses, radiators

each of them’s an actor, every,
they don’t move much (parts may vary),
but they showed up with the woodwork
to resolve the labor shortage

people who play the scenery,
pebbles, pools, or greenery,
rarely fit the size constraints
laid out in union contracts

so they called a special cell,
declared the clauses null and void,
then were left with this problem:
the camera couldn’t catch the small ones

a camera, for its fancy knobs,
controls, rattles, raps, and jobs,
cannot fix the microscopic
dust that lives in granny’s attic

and there’s more, you take that crab,
that is just a six inch slab,
set on rollers, then it’s dragged,
the legs just kind of bounce on, mad

the trees, the clouds, the sweeping vistas,
sure, sometimes they’re painted pictures — 
what to do when, though sporadic,
on location, they’re gigantic?

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