Form and Splash

At the town pond
I overheard a family’s
vacation banter.
“Judge my cannonball!”
the more corpulent son implored.
Obediently they all turned to witness his jump from the raft.
Arms grasped knees in mid-air
but the splatter was lackluster
and waves barely disturbed the glassy surface.
The crestfallen kid knew the verdict–
good, but far from perfection.

In a moment of nosiness
I consulted his folks:
“How do you recognize
excellence in a cannonball?”
The skinny brother pleaded the Fifth.
The dad acted as if the question was never asked.
But the mother clarified in testimony
awash with broader implications:
“Form and splash.”



Let’s face facts:
She prefers the memory to the event itself.
Surely experience is
but a prompt for remembrance.
Truth be told:
She wraps up sensation
only to feast on it later.

The nerve to claim that one is living in the moment!
As if a sudden bleat is preferable
to the cello of retrospection.
Lets keep it real people!

After all is said and done:
Yesterday will always superimpose itself
like a transparency atop an overhead projector.
To put it in a nutshell:
When the past and present wrestle,
the former inevitably maneuvers a half-nelson.
Consciousness itself craves reminiscence
and today’s novelties become tomorrow’s nostalgia.
Let’s be honest:
She has been working on her memoirs
from the get-go.


Edward Miller

Edward Miller

Edward D. Miller is Professor of Media Culture at the College of Staten Island and on the faculty of the programs in Theatre and Film at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. His creative works appear in Counterexample Poetics, Hinchas de Poesia, Wilderness House Literary Journal, The Boston Literary Magazine, Crack the Spine, Red Fez, Drunk Monkeys, Bloodstone Review, Handsy, and The Bangalore Review.