Quan Barry


The Long Jump as Teleportation


Mexico City, 1968


It only allows itself to be glimpsed.

Though there are prerequisites: the night like a bell jar, the air rarefied & thin.

Because the shortest distance between two points is both memory & forgetting--
00how we remember the moon of the green corn lurching over the sea, sky
00gone the color of absence

& we are there again--the catamaran's ambient listing. Or

the story of one epileptic's diagnosis--art history, how the professor seemed "to blip"
00about the hall, the lecture like an old film w/ frames missing.

Point A. Point B. The hang time in the air. The becoming.

Though it only allows itself to be glimpsed, there is a runway of indeterminate length.

You must think of yourself as both there & gone, arms like a wheel.

If the atmospherics are right, there will be a moment like a broken mirror:
00you will see yourself in a thousand rooms at once, legs airborne
00& desperately pedaling.

Call this consciousness. Call this pure awareness--the being
00focused like a beam.

Because sometimes you can want something too much, there is always a threshold
00& a place to fall.

How many feet to tranquility? How far must we leap until we never look back?

I don't need to know anymore.

Once I was there & then I wasn't.