Christian Langworthy


Patent's Caveat - Poem by Christian Langworthy

(From Edison's proposal for the kinetoscope)

We see May & hear it perfectly as if
whole illusions presented actual
performances. A complete opera
years before a place may have taken it.

I'm working on this new eye.
Just as my ears record your voice
from the phonographic motion⎯
how you move my love, moves me.

I'm experiencing difficulties interpreting—
must find a name for this device.
Content's origins remain unclear⎯
non-existent frame by frame as proposed.

I had a man sing the other day. I
photographed the singing as he was him.
Then I gave a long concert with stills
to arrest all his motions and gesticulations.

He sang himself through all his ranges,
but instead I heard your voice fading away.
Unfocused, the eye laments for the circle
to capture the movement—not to exceed it.

You're always image detached from frame
years before a place may have taken it.

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

Originally published in Bold Words, Rutgers University Press,2001.

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Poem Edited: Thursday, April 19, 2012


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