Monday, April 30, 2012

Chet Weise, 'Mach 3' [Poem and Video]

Posted By on Mon, Apr 30, 2012 at 11:00 AM

As organizer of the Poetry Sucks! series at Dino's, Chet Weise has built a cool little scene around good verse and good vibes on the East Side. He's also a poet himself, and as far as I know the only one in Nashville to shoot a video for one of his poems, at least this year. Directed by Doug Lehmann (from The Clutters and Mystery Twins) and Poni Silver (of The Ettes, who also produced), and starring musicians Courtney Jaye, Nikki Lane and Jemina Pearl, this piece of visual accompaniment for "Mach 3" also features the Chet-man himself — who also wrote and performed the soundtrack — in a helmet and on a horse.

The text of the poem appears below, courtesy of the author, and the next Poetry Sucks!, featuring Nickole Brown, Klyd Watkins and William W. Miller, goes down May 24.

MACH 3

Your eyes are black wings—
                      swept back
like a Blackbird   (SR-71) flying at high altitude,
faster than sound. During the 1970s,
               nothing could catch this bird.

The spy plane watched everything
and no one could help but stare
at the two rocket engines, wide wings, low profile

like a long glass of wine or an F1 car's racing stripe.

To say your eyes are deep and dark as the sea
would be embarrassingly cliché, but your eyes
do turn me into spaghetti, like scientists say

the gravity of a black hole would stretch a man.

In fact, scientists' telescopes study creation,
measuring and probing the centers of black holes.
Matter compressed so tight in these collapsed stars

that space flows backward, nothing escapes.
Planets and galaxies swirl into them.
Even light bends, like around your eyes.
Even time.

But eyes are only organs. Everyone has them.

I am more interested in that small space inside of you—
where it's infinite. So compact and powerful, a spark
makes a bang: a universe expands like a wave

on the beach during a hot summer day when salt streaks the sand.

And, most importantly, to me, your eyes could never be
black holes. They would be strawberries.

And I would stumble around in your room's darkness,
drunk, trying to find the light switch, tripping over furniture,
sweet red juice dripping down my chin.

—Chet Weise

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