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About this poet

A. Van Jordan is the author of The Cineaste: Poems (W.W. Norton & Company, 2013).

Un Chien Andalou (An Andalusian Dog)

A. Van Jordan
Because a razor cuts across a frame of film, 
I wince, squinting my eye, 
and because my day needs assembly 
to make sense of the scenes anyway, 
making a story from some pieces of truth, I go 
outside to gather those pieces.
Thousands of moments spooling out 
frames of mistakes in my day. 
As if anyone's to blame, 
as if anyone could interpret the colliding
images, again and again, dragging
my imagination behind me,
I begin assembling. 
I don't know anything, so I seek
directions, following the path 
of ants from your palm, out 
the apartment door to 
a beach. Is this where I'm 
supposed to ask if my hands on you
bend some light around shade? Maybe
I'm not ready for the answer. They say
art imitates what we can sculpt or write 
or just see when we turn ourselves 
inside out. I can't turn my eye away
from the sight of failure. The rain pelts rooftops.
I listen to the song, thinking 
when the sun comes back,
beating down the door
in my head, I'll salvage whatever sits
still long enough for me to render,
before anyone knows what really happened.

Copyright © 2010 by A. Van Jordan. Used by permission of the author.

A. Van Jordan

A. Van Jordan is the author of The Cineaste: Poems (W.W. Norton & Company, 2013).

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INSERT SHOT: Einstein’s notebook 1905—DAY 1: a theory that is based on two postulates (a) that the speed of light in all inertial frames is constant, independent of the source or observer. As in, the speed of light emitted from the truth is the same as that of a lie coming from the lamp of a face aglow with trust,

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from (→) prep. 1. Starting at (a particular place or time): As in, John was from Chicago, but he played guitar straight from the Delta; he wore a blue suit from Robert Hall's; his hair smelled like coconut; his breath, like mint and bourbon; his hands felt like they were

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