Single Lens Reflex from issue 71
These twitches, the mind’s reflexー
as if out of the soil, memory’s crop
pushing its way up, each persistent shoot
lifting aside what burden to unreel
itself to light? I have seen a bulb blow up
or so it seemed, filmed in time lapse. Exposed,
here, I’m recalling an exposé
on the tube. Run’s the body’s reflex.
In my mind’s eye, a close up turns blow up
of a thin man with close-cropped
dark hair mouthing, Don’t shoot.
Who do I think I am. A bystander, I shoot
Rolls of film, prints over-exposed
like the theater’s black-and-white newsreels
my child self counted backwards with, a reflex.
The mind’s a land mine, a bird’s crop
stopped up, sometimes threatening to blow up.
How many month before the final blow up
had I made up my mind to shoot
from the hip? He wouldn’t nip or crop
each grievance this time. My ex posed.
I hugged my pillow, knees tucked, a reflex
to try to stay the room’s mad reeling.
Today, the world seems a little surreal.
A girl in a pink dress blows up
a green balloonーor tries to. Its reflex
is to contract. Sucking used air, “Shoot,”
she chokes. She grins, exposes
black space, baby teeth a harvested crop.
My camera flashes. Time will crop
the photographs, do what I will. I reel
The film back till the first exposure’s
swallowed up. Already memory’s blow up
of this moment is being developed. Oh, shoot,
I sight, but too late to short circuit the reflex.
Sometimes I fear smoke is my true crop. It blows up-
ward and dissipates. I can’t reel it in, can’t shoot
to stand down this bent, this exposed by now reflex.