by Patrick Dubuque
The front of the house crashes down around Buster Keaton
And I turn to my daughter and say, that actually happened
And she says I know, he’s right there on the screen
And I say no, Buster actually stood there and half the crew
Walked out, because it wasn’t safe. No nets, no wires,
No computers. What you saw is what was.
She understood, but she didn’t understand.
We’ve been trained to suspend our belief.
The closer you get to perfection, the harder to see.
You have to become perfect yourself, train your eye
To discern the greatest possible exactitude.
Perfection forces you to leave others behind.
And then, this. The sort of pitch that drives people
To either math or art, anything to convey.
This, pitch, this “slider.” It breaks the wrong way
And keeps going, further than we know a pitch can go
Stretches the air like an event horizon, the bat
Growing a foot longer as it swings just shy.
How do we pass this down? The oral tradition fails us.
How can we bury this slider into our heritage,
Encode its viewing as a rite of passage?
What should it mean? Did Bard collect every pitch,
Throw them all at once? Did the gods revenge
Prometheus, steal back their power so they could
Bend the lightning in more divine fashion?
Here is an impossible thing, we will tell our children.
Look at it, allow for its possibility. It is real.
It is important that we can make gods jealous, sometimes.
PATRICK DUBUQUE is a wastrel and a general layabout. Many of the sites he has written for are now dead. Follow him on Twitter @euqubud.