Sam Shepard, Motel Chronicles

sam shepard motel chronicles


I remember trying to imitate Burt Lancaster’s smile after I saw him and Gary Cooper in Vera Cruz. For days I practiced in the back yard. Weaving through the tomato plants. Sneering. Grinning that grin. Sliding my upper lip up over my teeth. After a few days of practice I tried it out on the girls at school. They didn’t seem to notice. I broadened my interpretation until I started getting strange reactions from other kids. They would look straight at my teeth and a fear would creep into their eyes. I’d forgotten how bad my teeth were. How one of the front ones was dead and brown and overlapped the broken one right next to it. I’d actually come to believe I was in possession of a full head of perfect pearly Burt Lancaster-type teeth. I didn’t want to scare anyone so I stopped grinning after that. I only did it in private. Pretty soon even that faded. I returned to my empty face.

4/25/81
Homestead Valley, Ca.

Sam Shepard, Motel Chronicles, City Lights, 1983



Pour mémoire : à gauche, le “grin” carnassier du modèle burtlancastero-veracruzien, et à droite, Sam Shepard jeune.

lancaster shepard

Logique, vous avez dit logique ?

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