We prolong any talk of closed doors.
I, the longest standing employee,
have an efficient system for stocking candy.
I’ve seen how the inventory changed to free
space for Blu-ray. When asked, “Does Netflix
stream this?” I smile, keep dusting the film.
Seven years I’ve scraped the surface of Film
History. My own collection simple, I’ve counted on doors
to remain open, despite the damage Netflix
inflicted, shrank our waist from eight to five employees.
We try to make human contact count, gave free
movies away like so much penny candy.
Prices haven’t raised in ten years, but the candy
costs do, bars of Chocolove equivalent to film
rentals to break even, keep our heads free
from operating loss. We keep the doors
open from noon to midnight, employed
to be un-offended at the convenience of Netflix.
Downloading, then Hulu, the net fluxed
media into the belly of freedom, eye-candy,
indulgence from the workaday. They’re employees
too, our customers. They come to us filmy
with grease, hoping to tease relaxation behind doors
where they don’t have to serve somebody, can be free
of pants and demands, watch Game of Thrones free
from questions, late fees, conversation that Netflix
never asks of them, never looks at them, or closes its doors
due to the hour, or revels with them at the canon deemed
“guilty pleasure.” It only streams a litany of media at film-
riddled eyes un-resigned to sleep, to tomorrow’s employment.
I understand the clerks, bartenders, lawyers employing
their last bit of control on today. It’s not taken lightly, or given freely
to the concerns behind the counter. Mostly, they don’t want films
to shake or question them, just to glow a bright net, flecks
flooding the living and bedrooms, in showers of colors candy-
bright as it was before you understood money, or that doors
once opened, closed on employees unseen by the screen. Doors
that freed Kurosawa and Kubrick became crystalline, candied.
Film will have to be found elsewhere. Just a spent, bled, pixel.