La Jetée (1962) Using optically printed photographs in varying rhythms, Chris Marker experimented with persistence of vision to explore the complexities of memory. Underground researchers, survivors disrupted by atomic war, enlist a prisoner to travel back in time, then forward in order to find a device that can save human society. A voice-under narrator recounts the results.
WE ARE ALL TRAPPED IN TIME
For Proust, a madeleine opened the past,
But an image has no smell or taste,
So the seen remains unseen, sudden, fast,
Twenty-four frames per second, jump-cut paste.
When trauma rattles basal ganglia,
Flash memory snaps in random choices,
As earworms channel the cochlea,
Deafening thought among corrupt voices.
Who among genomes can uncoil the code
For clones deep in corporate cyberspace
Before the blast, that took light out, explode
In a sudden glimpse of a woman’s face.
[Disposable Poem January 1—3, 2019]