Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Perhaps the Greatest Error by Cornelius Eady

Perhaps the Greatest Error

 Cornelius Eady

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.


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