When asked to elaborate on his fame-plagued life,
he only mentioned family—his folks and kids and wife.
His whole battery of movies went without a mention,
and when they broached the subject, the air grew thick with tension.
“If you only rate yourself by how you earn your keep,”
he said, “you dig a trench that’s wide but isn’t very deep.
My work was just a scribble on the margins of my life.
Those roles I played of other people’s lives, I fear were rife
with violence and sadness, full of passion and its ills,
but they were all fiction just meant to pay the bills.
The story of my life was written out in grocery lists,
outings with my children, that woman that I kissed
at the least two times a day—each morning and each night.
My fame was a reflection of a deeper light.
The true role of my life was one that had nobody writing it,
no director or producer or studio inciting it.
It seems these days that what we seek is just escape and fiction.
We don’t have to live ourselves–a mere contrived depiction
of other people’s lives and thoughts more valid than our own,
preferring fruits of other lives more than the ones we’ve grown.
So though the meaning of my films are constantly debated,
the roles that mattered most to me were ones that I created.”