This guy makes is Getting in Buzz Alden’s Face, or perhaps it’s that he wants Buzz To admit, to cry, to repent that it’s all been A joke, a hoax, that Moon stuff, just something Home made with lights and mirrors; remember Playing “Space-boy”, your cardboard box lifting off The living room carpet, and there you go, The ceiling, the roof, the diminishment of the streets Through your scissor-cut window, away, away, Then the corrugated darkness, and stars.
But it’s a cardboard box, and the gravity Of your parent’s house, where a kid, as we know Has to snap out of it, sooner or later, or they Begin to worry about where you’ll land.
So down from the beautiful, silent orbit, That slow brake called reason, the weight Of the real world dragging your arms. Come on,
The man insists, like your father’s hand ruffling Your pillow with a quarter, caught, when all He wanted was for you to believe, just for a bit Longer, that that baby tooth of yours called Beings invisible to your bed, stop lying And tell us the truth. O, intangible worlds, An astronaut ignites his fingers, and his fist Is launched to the chin of the idiot moon.
-To Tracy K. Smith
Cornelius Eady is the author of eight books of poetry, including Hardheaded Weather: New and Selected Poems (Putnam, April 2008). His second book, Victims of the Latest Dance Craze, won the Lamont Prize from the Academy of American Poets in 1985; in 2001 Brutal Imagination was a finalist for the National Book Award. His work in theater includes the libretto for an opera, “Running Man,” which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama in 1999. His play, “Brutal Imagination,” won Newsday’s Oppenheimer award in 2002. In 1996 Eady co-founded, with writer Toi Derricotte, the Cave Canem summer workshop/retreat for African American poets. More than a decade later, Cave Canem is a thriving national network of black poets, as well as an institution offering regional workshops, readings, a first book prize, and the summer retreat. Eady has been a teacher for more than twenty years, and is now a professor at Notre Dame University.