the backwards arrow.
I want to hear it again,
the whoosh water makes
if a swan glides across it
to hiss at a wading dog.
I was listening
to gadgetsong. I touch
the backwards arrow
but can't rewind
the swan blazing
a chute of water
out of the way. Touch
is rarely powerful
as we want it.

Richard Prins is a New Yorker who sometimes lives in Dar es Salaam. He received his MFA degree in poetry from New York University. His work appears in Los Angeles Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, Rattle, Redivider and THRUSH Poetry Journal.

One of my favorite places to write is a secluded nook of benches alongside the pond in Brooklyn's Prospect Park. People like to feed the waterfowl there, despite the many billboards stating "Please Don't Feed Waterfowl". As I watched a swan landing, I tried to pause the music on my iPhone in order to more fully appreciate the moment. Suddenly I felt convinced that with a press of a button I could 'rewind' the swan--a rather trippy sensation that inspired this meditation on human loneliness (and caused me to question whether my relationship with technology is, altogether, sane).




Copyright 2009