A. Van Jordan is the author of The Cineaste: Poems (W.W. Norton & Company, 2013).
Un Chien Andalou (An Andalusian Dog)
Because a razor cuts across a frame of film, I wince, squinting my eye, and because my day needs assembly to make sense of the scenes anyway, making a story from some pieces of truth, I go outside to gather those pieces. Thousands of moments spooling out frames of mistakes in my day. As if anyone's to blame, as if anyone could interpret the colliding images, again and again, dragging my imagination behind me, I begin assembling. I don't know anything, so I seek directions, following the path of ants from your palm, out the apartment door to a beach. Is this where I'm supposed to ask if my hands on you bend some light around shade? Maybe I'm not ready for the answer. They say art imitates what we can sculpt or write or just see when we turn ourselves inside out. I can't turn my eye away from the sight of failure. The rain pelts rooftops. I listen to the song, thinking when the sun comes back, beating down the door in my head, I'll salvage whatever sits still long enough for me to render, before anyone knows what really happened.
Copyright © 2010 by A. Van Jordan. Used by permission of the author.