Found Poem*

This reflux is aston­ish­ment

The imme­di­a­cy of their ter­ror short-cir­cuit­ing
even disavowal?s detour-
This too is but a train of shad­ows.
The ungras­pable phan­tom of life.

A strange flick­er pass­es through the screen
and the pic­ture stirs to life.
A vac­il­la­tion between belief and increduli­ty-
a ter­ror­ist mood set­ter,
like a fair­ground bark­er,
caused women to scream and men to sit aghast.

The ele­phant is led onto an elec­tri­fied plate,
and secured.

Smoke ris­es from its feet and
after a moment
the ele­phant falls on its side.

The lust of the eyes
end­ing in per­ver­sions of mag­ic and sci­ence.
Equal­ly dubi­ous intel­lec­tu­al curios­i­ty,
lost sight of now after decades
recedes into the flat sur­face
and the decep­tion is exposed.

Shock becomes a strat­e­gy
of a mod­ern aes­thet­ic of aston­ish­ment.
The hol­low cen­tre of the cin­e­mat­ic illu­sion.
Na?ve belief in the real­i­ty of the image-
a train of shad­ows
freight­ed with empti­ness.

*from Tom Gunning?s ?An Aes­thet­ic of Aston­ish­ment: Ear­ly Film and the (In)credulous Spec­ta­tor?