Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


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.

Credit


Copyright © 2010 by A. Van Jordan. Used by permission of the author.

Author


A. Van Jordan

A. Van Jordan has published four books of poetry: The Cineaste: Poems (W. W. Norton & Company, 2013); Quantum Lyrics (W. W. Norton & Company, 2007); M-A-C-N-O-L-I-A (W. W. Norton & Company, 2005), winner of an Anisfield-Wolf Book Award; and Rise (Tia Chucha Press, 2001), winner of the PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Award.

Date Published: 2010-10-08

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/un-chien-andalou-andalusian-dog