tung-hui hu



The Chaser


So what if all films used to show were
people walking up and down streets crowds leaves
in motion in short exactly what you could see outside
but in shades of grey so boring some say
film was a chaser at the end of vaudeville acts
to clear away audiences when they needed to start the next set—
only the cinephiles staying,
whispering things to each other like
O to be silent,
inscrutable, and ashen as a Lumière:
how much more interesting would readings be
if everyone knew poetry were the last act,
and instinctively started to collect their belongings,
to look for the misplaced scarf or book,
scrambling around,
knowing each line would be short,
very little time to get out
before the pauses, the changes of rhythm,
the collective sigh that the audience expels
at the end of each poem like the custom
of holding your breath driving past a graveyard,
trying not to breathe life to those shadows,
hoping the poet doesn’t get up and read again.










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