Jackie Chan in the Unemployment Line

by Benjamin Marxer

JACKIE Chan doesn't want to kick this guy in the head
But he's Jackie Chan
and that's what he does
when the tubby-faced guy at the window
of the unemployment line says
''Can I see some ID?''

It's hard for him sometimes
without the dub
Or without Chris or Owen to be
the Abbott to his Costello
In the past Jackie's fists
could do the talking for him

He used to be able to get into any club
by jumpkicking a beer bottle off of the head
of an unamused Aryan bouncer
while the crowd cheers
as he trashcan—
his way to a second story window

But when CGI blue screens and body doubles
can turn even Affleck into an action star
Chan can't compete
no matter how horrifically he shatters his kneecap
in the end credit blooper reel

These days, nobody questions
when he puts Enter The Dragon
on his resume
While his children mark ''Asian''
on their scholarship applications

He's nine years from social security safety
And with his Haynes endorsements
drying up and no Shanghai/Rushhour trilogies
on the eastern horizon
Jackie still finds it necessary every now and then
to grab hold of the ceiling fan
and double-foot kick
a fat-faced government employee
through his bank-teller window
Jackie Chan style

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