Scene from the Movie GIANT – A poem By Tino Villanueva Part 3

by: Chuy Ramirez
Posted: May 29, 2021

III

 

 

Fight Scene Beginning

 

Bick Benedict, that is, Rock Hudson in the

Time-clock of the movie, stands up and moves,

Deliberate, toward encounter. He has come out

Of the anxious blur of the backdrop, like

 

Coming out of the unreal into the world of

What’s true, down to earth and distinct; has

Stepped up to Sarge, the younger of the two,

 

And would sure appreciate it if he: “Were a

Little more polite to these people.” Sarge,

Who has something to defend, balks; asks

(In a long-shot) if: “that there papoose down

 

There, his name Benedict too?” by which he

Means one-year old Jordy in the background

Booth hidden in the bosom of mother love of

 

Juana, who listens, trying not to listen. Rock

Hudson, his hair already the color of slate,

Who could not foresee this challenge, arms

Akimbo (turning around), contemplates the stable

 

And straight line of years gone by, says: “Yeah,

Come to think of it, it is.” And so acknowledges,

In his heart, his grandson, half-Anglo, half-

Brown. Sarge repents from words, but no

Part of his real self succumbs: “All right—

Forget I asked you. Now you just go back

Over there and sit down and we ain’t gonna

 

Have no trouble. But this bunch here is

Gonna eat somewhere’s else.” Never shall I

Forget, never how quickly his hand threw my

 

Breathing off—how quickly he plopped the

Hat heavily askew once more on the old

Man’s head, seized two fistsful of shirt and

Coat and lifted his slight body like nothing,

 

A no-thing, who could have been any of us,

Weightless nobodies bronzed by real-time far

Off somewhere, not here, but in another

 

Country, yet here, where Rock Hudson’s face

Deepens; where in one motion, swift as a

Miracle, he catches Sarge off guard, grabs

His arm somehow, tumbles him back against

 

The counter and draws fire from Sarge to

Begin the fight up and down the wide screen

Of memory, ablaze in Warner-color light.

 

 

 

Fight Scene, Part II

 

Mad-eyed Sarge recovers with a vengeance, tears

Away his white apron, lays bare his words: “You’re

Outta line, mister…” And there are no more words

 

To say when he crouches forward at the same time

That one punch crashes him rearward among the table

And chairs by the jukebox that breaks into the

 

Drumming of “The Yellow Rose of Texas,” who was

It is said, dark-eyed herself. In the dynasty of

Towering men—: all height, all live weight has

Evolved into Sarge, who stays etched in my eye as when

 

He parts the air with a right cross…and Rock Hudson

Begins to fall, is falling, falls in the slackening

Way of a slow weep of a body collapsing, hitting

 

The floor like falling to the rocky earth, territory

To justice being what Sarge refuses to give up.

Rock Hudson, in the name of Bick Benedict, draws

Himself up, though clearly, the holding muscles of

His legs are giving out—one moment he is in a

 

 

 

Clinch with Sarge, the next he is rammed back

Against the red booths. The two of them have

Mobilized their arms that breed fire, and so it

 

Goes: a right upper-cut to Sarge and a jab to

Rock Hudson, engaged in a struggle fought in the

Air and time of long ago and was fought again this

Morning at dawn when light fell upon darkness and

Things were made right again. ( I shut, now slowly,

 

My eyes, and see myself seeing, as in a frame within

A frame, two fighters set upon each other. To this

Day I contend that I saw, for a second, the whole

 

Screen fill up with the arm-fist of Sarge blurring

Across it.) Now the fighters are one with the loud

Music bruising the eardrums. To be injured, there

Must be blood to see, for they have become two minds

 

Settling a border dispute. Two men have organized

Their violence to include me, as I am on the side

Of Rock Hudson, but carry nothing to the fight but

 

Expectations that, when it is over, I can repeat the

Name of goodness in Sarge’s Place, as the singers sing

That raging song that seems to keep the fight alive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fight Scene: Final Frames

 

And now it must end. Sarge with too much muscle,

Too much brawn against Bick Benedict with his half-idea

To stay alive in the fight, but his shoulders, all down

To his arms, can no longer contend to come back, cannot

Intercept the wallop that up-vaults him over the counter.

 

As over a line in a house divided at heart. He steadies

Himself upward, all sense of being there gone, to meet

Sarge (upwards shooting angle), standing with fists

Cocked to strike and he does, once more and again. You

Can see and can hear Rock Hudson’s daughter give out a

 

Long-suffering cry, “Daaadddyyy!” and for Sarge to “leave

Him alooonnne!” But in a wrath like this there can be no

Pity upon the earth, as the blows come harder from Sarge

Like a fever in him. Then it happens. Sarge’s one last,

Vital, round-arm punch, one just measure of power, turning

 

The concept of struggle around. The earth, finally is

Cleaned of goodness when Rock Hudson is driven to the

Rugged floor and does not rise, his wife, Elizabeth

Taylor (Leslie), kneeling to be with his half-life,

Illuminated body and heartbeat. Whose heartbeat? Whose

 

Strength must be summoned to make his graceful body

Arise! Who shall come forth and be followed? What

Name do I give thoughts that collapse through each

Other? When may I learn strongly to act, who am caught

In this light like a still photography? Can two fighters

 

Bring out a third? To live, must I learn how to die?

Sarge stands alone now, with all the atoms of his power

Still wanting to beat the air, stands in glory like a

Law that stands for other laws. It remains with me:

That a victory is not over until you turn it into words;

 

That a victor of his kind must legitimize his fists

Always, so he rips from the wall a sign, like a writ

Revealed tossed down to the strained chest of Rock Hudson

And what he said unto him, he said like a pulpit preacher

Who knows only the unfriendly parts of the Bible,

 

 

 

After all, Sarge is not a Christian name. The camera

Zooms in:

WE RESERVE

THE RIGHT

TO REFUSE SERVICE

TO ANYONE

 

 

In the dream-work of the scene, as it is in memory, or

In a pattern with a beginning and an end only to begin

Again, timing is everything. Dissolve and the music ends.

 

 

Chuy Ramirez is an attorney practicing law in the Rio Grande Valley since 1983, and dabbles in writing.

PUBLISHER’S NOTICE

The September 2021 edition of IberoAzltan will be our ninth. We had projected publication of six editions which would be focused primarily on an interview project which we began in 2017, called the Chicana/o Legacy Project. The interest in and support for IberoAztlan was Unexpected.

Rather than ceasing publication as originally intended, we are offering to transfer all publisher’s rights, powers, and legal authority to anyone (individually or otherwise) who has the interest and wherewithal to carry on the project.  The purchase price is $1.00, and the consideration and conditions are negotiable.

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