Translations from the Cinema – Cascando, the Documentary by Dr. Lawrence Nannery

Cascando, the Documentary

The camera eye, imitating nature, is cruel in its concern.
This time, it was the airship Hindenburg on its last visit to the States.
As it docks a wind kicks up, and the tethers drag the sailors up.
Two held on, and it means their death.
They are swept upwards, up and suddenly they are hundreds of feet high, and thus doomed.

We see little of that, since the editors are interested much more in the falling.
One fellow had to let go pretty early, and we see him fall.
A few hundred feet, then he lands on his head, and is lost to the camera’s eye.

The camera is interested only in drama.
There are shouts to the other fellow, but we do not hear them.
They urge him to hold fast, hold on.

He is the center of focus, he is strong, he rides the winds and the twists and turns.
He is game, he has no alternative, he clings and hopes.
His struggle is what the camera will report to us, decades after the events.

His flight continues upwards for long, and just before we get bored with this
The nameless fellow falters and lets go, as though shoving himself off.
Human strength is only so much, human endurance has its limits.
Now the falling proper begins, parable for modern man.
There are three thousand feet of falling.  It takes a long time.

There he goes — down, down — to the upward rushing earth.
He doesn’t know what he looks like, he doesn’t care.
He looks down, then he looks up, then he holds himself, then he runs, arms and legs flailing.
He tries doing nothing, he shouts, he feints, he mock-feints,
As though he could bargain with Mother Earth about this.

We see it all, we are the eyes and ears of the world.
Why are we so interested, what is going on here?
This casual devil’s work, the happenstance that means his extinction —
Why is this replayed so often without commentary?

He disappears, still reaching, behind trees and the like, and that is all.
The camera does not go there and show the broken body.
One never hears of the funeral, the testimonies.
Who needs to see all that?  They are mere formalities.
Ah, but the dying, the flight, the resistance — that was something, now.


Check Dr. Lawrence Nannery’s Poetry Collection:
“Translations from the Cinema”
You can download them for FREE HERE!


More From Dr. Lawrence Nannery, HERE!

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