Friday, April 24, 2009

"Twelve Movies" by Ishai Barnoy

hen I was told to watch twelve movies—
oh, any twelve—which isn't
bad advice, told
probably to make me take time off
from being so serious.
Or as if time, like this, can be so simply
gleaned into rough twelfths
to some effect,
which isn't an incorrect view, nor an imperfect figure—
on the contrary, both correct and good!
Like twelve people I know, like twelve perfected parts of me.
And the books in the room turned,
or just angled slightly,
as if to say, "Hell,
why not? We don't know!"
And since I normally place my trust in them,
I let it come,
the deluge of phrases.
I let it wash off these layers of mine—
these confused skins—
until it would be satisfied with its flensing.
And I let the movie theater
wrench itself out of the concrete and creep up
seductively, with its lips
gradually opening over my head—"Hello, Ishai," it said.
"Hello, movie theater," I echoed
from inside that long throat.

And my scarf rolled off my neck, and my coat
dropped ripe onto the carpeted floor,
then my shirt and pants and other mentionables,
and I came out pink as on my birthday—though, I suppose
with black spots here and there,
a partly healthy, partly still-alright
pinkish onion.
Like an overgrown child,
imagining myself unveiled—
a tragically trusting twelve-year-old,
which is the person that I resemble
when drunk, or when heavily flattered,
as in a room—the room—
hearing a voice recite all the possible courses of action,
and me, ah me,
expecting that this time (whatever time it is),
when I step outside, it might finally be Spring,
or possibly the end of days,
which is okay—perfect even!

And I would reach out
in the post-apocalyptic dark of the movie theater
for those handles grafted
in between the other animals,
those ones that used to eat one another,
the handles that marked my place
in that poetic future,
all of which I surely must have seen
and somewhere still remembered from a dozen movies.


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