From . . .Live Remote by DOROTHY BARRESI

But what is TV if not a screen

where light divides down,

where particles charge and involve us

and we are kissed awake

from one native sorrow to another's

just because we are watching? We're alive.

And Oswald

that fox-faced, want-faced man

makes a sudden deep

O with his mouth in our living room because

he has not fallen down yet.

It is the astonishing first kiss

of a bullet in the gut.

That look of mortal surprise

married to a singular understanding, too late,

that (a) he was never alone enough, but now

might be forever; (b)

was never given enough attention, but now

might be forever--no matter how hard he tries--

or (c) all of the above,

and like Wile E. Coyote walking on air

a thousand feet above the loco canyon,

Oswald has only to look at the camera, look down,

and he will accomplish

what falls to us all to do, sooner or later.

Commit himself to circumstance

in a thin yelp! and puff of smoke.

"Live Remote," from which this is an excerpt, appears in Dorothy Barresi's collection "All of the Above" (Beacon Press: $22.50, cloth; $9.95, paper), a title in the Barnard New Women Poets series. Barresi teaches creative writing at California State University at Northridge. (copyright) 1991 Dorothy Barresi. Reprinted with permission.

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