08 September 2011

"Watching Television"

I've never been much of a Robert Bly fan, but this summer I purchase a used, first-edition copy of his 1967 collection The Light Around the Body from Mondragon Bookstore in Lewisburg, PA for $3. I finally got around to reading the book this morning while I took a shit, and the poem "Watching Television" definitely is worth posting. Check it out in its entirety (I've italicized my favorite parts):

Sounds are heard too high for ears,
From the body cells there is an answering bay;
Soon the inner streets fill with a chorus of barks.

We see the landing craft coming in,
The black car sliding to a stop,
The Puritan killer loosening his guns.

Wild dogs tear off noses and eyes
And run off with them down the street—
The body tears off its own arms and throws them into the air.

The detective draws fifty-five million people into his revolver,
Who sleep restlessly as in an air raid in London;
Their backs become curved in the sloping dark.

The filaments of the soul slowly separate;
The spirit breaks, a puff of dust floats up;
Like a house in Nebraska that suddenly explodes.

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