What’s true is that the CGI hasn’t aged terribly,
or maybe I’ve aged terribly.
As an ex-archaeologist, please explain to me why
if the ancient Egyptian curse were actually real,
why the sinister voice unfurling threads of time below the statue of Anubis
would taunt the French Foreign Legion in English? Seriously.
Brendan Fraser pulls off 1920s adventurer garb,
but can’t hold a candle to Harrison Ford’s Indiana Jones.
If you ever need to loot a tomb – or become an archaeologist –
you know what color palette or Munsell shade you should choose.
Rachel Weisz isn’t simply a frustrated and sexy librarian,
but a Bembridge reject:
“They’ve rejected my application again, they say I haven’t got enough experience in the field.”
Honestly, this makes me feel a certain camaraderie with her
as Bembridge is obviously the nearly mythical Cambridge,
which has sent me more rejections than all the lit mags combined.
They have never given feedback as to why, but I can affirm that
I have too much experience in the field and maybe
that scares them. Bembridge folks want a delicate balance,
and if my doctoral advisor is right, it may be because my surname screams
“Northern Ireland” which is kind of their colony, and also it’s obvious
my great-grandparents wove their linens and licked their feet
before coming to America. For these rejections, I should be grateful.
Like Weisz’s Evie, I’m obviously destined for great success, like:
triggering the Ten Plagues of Egypt
awakening a very naughty mummy
sleeping with Brendan Fraser
Okay, maybe Bembridge/Cambridge made the right call.
I can promise I’ll never open a canopic jar,
or read from the Book of the Dead.
I can make grand pronouncements that foreshadow terror and zombies:
“Let’s make sure we don’t bring back anyone from the dead,”
says the random American. I am a random American
and I can promise I’ll never bring anyone back from the dead,
but I can’t promise that I won’t fall asleep with a jar and a book because I’m –
“You dream about dead guys?”
Not Fraser’s best quip, but it’s up there. I don’t
dream about dead guys, but Bembridge/Cambridge produces a lot
of dead guys, and if they hadn’t rejected Evie or I,
they could have less dead guys, but until then, I’ll settle
for resurrecting the dead – but only the really sandy CGI ones.
Morgan L. Ventura (they/she) is a Sicilian-Irish American Rhysling-nominated poet, essayist, translator, and ex-archaeologist from the Midwest. Their poems and writing appear or are forthcoming in Strange Horizons, Geist Magazine, Augur, and Ghost City Review, among others. Ventura also is an editor for South Broadway Press. They tweet @hmorganvl