Sunday, September 02, 2007

Cartoon Physics

Thomas and I took all our change to the coinstar on Friday night. We made 122 dollars and went promptly to Best Buy to get the first season of Heroes on DVD. Neither of us had ever seen an episode before, but we'd heard that it ruled.

This morning, as we were watching the second episode, and we were whispering things to each other like, "Ok, so I guess we're to understand that it runs in families" as we figured out the rules to this alternate universe, I was suddenly reminded of a poem I love by Nick Flynn, called

Cartoon Physics, part 1.

Children under, say, ten, shouldn’t know
that the universe is ever-expanding,
inexorably pushing into the vacuum, galaxies

swallowed by galaxies, whole

solar systems collapsing, all of it
acted out in silence. At ten we are still learning
the rules of cartoon animation,

that if a man draws a door on a rock
only he can pass through it.
Anyone else who tries

will crash into the rock. Ten-year-olds
should stick with burning houses, car wrecks,
ships going down--earthbound, tangible

disasters, arenas where they can be heroes. You can run
back into a burning house, sinking ships

have lifeboats, the trucks will come
with their ladders, if you jump

you will be saved. A child

places her hand on the roof of a schoolbus,
and drives across a city of sand. She knows

the exact spot it will skid, at which point
the bridge will give, who will swim to safety
and who will be pulled under by sharks. She will learn

that if a man runs off the edge of a cliff
he will not fall

until he notices his mistake.

7 comments:

velocibadgergirl said...

That is lovely and poignant.

hat said...

even though you profess to be one of those prose writers, i think you're really a poet. really. really.

Gina said...

The way children see the world is so very different than us. And sometimes I feel bad when I have to correct Mr. P in a thought. Because it would be irresponsible of me to let him go around thinking something was true when it wasn't.

Ginger said...

Enjoy your new shows! At least you can watch them without that 5 week hiatus we had last season.

Andrea Q. said...

Lovely. Thanks for sharing that. :)

Amanda said...

that is fantastic. =)

T. said...

I'm SO JEALOUS you get to watch these on DVD uncut for the first time.