Saturday, April 17, 2010

Out of the Blue: a Collage

Out of the Blue: a Collage recalling the falling body in Jonathan Safran Foer Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Walk. Don’t Walk. Walk. Don’t Walk.

I get here early
Just to gawp from the window.

If I stand on my toes can you see me wave?

And a lurch.
A pitch.
A sway to the south.

A torrent of letters and memos and forms
now streams and storms
now flocks and shoals
now passes and pours
now tacks and jibes
now flashes and flares
now rushes and rides
now flaps and glides…

then a lamp
a coat
a screen
a chair

I see raining flames
I see hardware fly

Abdoul calls his mother home
Monica raises her hand to her eye
Joseph presses his face to the glass
Abdoul tries his mother again
Abdoul tries his mother again
Glen writes a note on a paper plane
Paul draws a scarf over Rosemary’s face
Dennis goes down on his hands and knees
Stephanie edges out onto the ledge

From the end of the phone
to a place called home¨
so our words can escape,

My beautiful wife,
sit down in the chair,
put the phone to your ear.
Le me say.
Let me hear.

I am still breathing

Do you see me, my love. I am failing, flagging.

Crane into the void.
Lean into the world.

It’s not in my blood
to actually jump.
But others can’t hold.

So a body will fall. And a body will fall.
And a body will fall. And a body will fall.

The body arrives,
the soul catches up.

The enormity falls.
Then all senses fails.

A wish for the earth to be solid and not to give

The numbers game.
The body count.

All lost.
All lost in the dust.
Lost in the fall and the crush and the dark.
Now all coming back.

Everything changed. Nothing is safe.

I have chosen verses from “Out of the Blue’s” first 13 poems and put them together to a longer poem, recalling Jonathan Safran Foer’s falling body in his book “Extremely Lound and
Incredibly Close. Why? Because when I was quickly scrolling through the pages with that falling body there were no words there to tell the story of that falling body. Simon Armitage has recalled that commonly seen experience of falling bodies and has given words to them. I’ve also chosen some names remembered on poem 6: they are all from the Victim’s List of 9/11, more precisely: List of World Trade Center Victims (not including plane crews or passengers). Millicent never got an answer. Anthony doesn’t talk anymore. Abdoul has never called his mother. Monica doen’t raise her hand anymore. And Glen’s mote on the paper plane, has probably become ash. Exacly like him.

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