POEM XXVI: “LENS FLARE”

It drives some people nuts.

They can’t watch movies by J.J. Abrams
or Zack Snyder
or Michael Bay.
When the smear of lights
crosses the screen
like oncoming headlights
smearing through rain,
they wince
and make sarcastic comments
and sigh like bored and superior housecats.

You wonder how
these wilting violets
would have handled the first movies
with their endless reel changes
and the snap crackle pop
of their explosive nitrate film

or the inexpert and endless piano recitals
of the Victorian parlor.

On Shakespeare’s stage, only fools carried torches.
This is because at night, a torch illuminates only the bearer,
insulating him
in a cocoon of blindness.

So too do we,
cradled in the dark popcorn-scented cave of the movie theater,
carry a torch
of our secret hopes
and our vainest desires.

We want to shed light upon the world,
but the projector’s beam,
insistent as a guard tower’s spotlight,
discovers only us.

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