or: Everything I Want to Say to That Only White Dude in 12 Years A Slave
Who Got Nominated for an Academy Award
By Sarp Sozdinler
You can’t say they didn’t whip your talents after all, that they never scalped your skull to peek inside, to recognize you for your rich inner world, your privilege in the shape of a man, the kind that’s farting your rehearsed lines as if it would explain a lot, your Aries moods and big dick energy, your been-theres and done-thats, always better and before, always following one success story after another, of how you traveled across realms and ate worlds, of how you swam with sharks in the morning and shat awards at night, wrestled mutants and sniffed crack, of how you rescued entire civilizations and sometimes cats but never, never, never your loved ones, not even at times of need, definitely not as Magneto or David, much less a slave owner, and always, always, always at the cost of your eternal doom, your own private idaho, your five o’clock shadow and After Eights, your handheld loneliness and paparazzi nonchalance, your depression beard and bony frame, despite the big screen and its extra few pounds, despite the scores of muscle mass you lost in most films, slashed Spartans and invented Macintosh, golfed with the Clintons and ignored the Weinsteins, you legend, you the mad king, a winner both in victory and defeat, a speculatively good guy deep down, way deep down but still, one that is not hard to picture sitting across from me at my dinner table, drinking my beer and chewing my beef, while me telling you that I know, that everyone gets the pronunciation wrong, that Shame was in truth one of the most romantic movies ever made, that how hard it must be to be born in one continent and prove yourself in another, how you’re the star of everything you’re in but sometimes a star for all the wrong reasons, how you seem to never know when a director would kill you off, would make you look bad in the eyes of the viewer, you shaking your head in disbelief, amazed to have at last found someone who understands, then saluting me with another one of your boring speeches while resting your free hand on my knee, you foolish casanova, you inglorious basterd, one who was born into the dark side of the world and doomed to die in a darker one, both in rhetorical and artistic senses of the word, both on IMDb-realm and in real life, all while his mortal self will forever be a-slaving away.
Sarp Sozdinler is a Turkish writer out of Philadelphia and Amsterdam whose work has been featured or is forthcoming in the Kenyon Review, Masters Review, The Normal School, Hobart, HAD, Maudlin House, Passages North, The Offing, and elsewhere.
Art by Sarp Sozdinler.