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Saturday, 4 September 2010

Marey and the River -- by Zephirine



You cannot, so we are told, step twice into the same river:
the water will have flowed on past.  But you too
will not be the same person stepping.

In Marey’s image, change is happening
in the space between the man who jumps,
the man who has just jumped, the man who jumped
a moment ago, the man
in mid-jump
who used to be the man about to jump
and who will soon be
he who has jumped.

The man who jumps is not the same man who lands.

He will have added some heartbeats, shed some skin
he might have sneezed
or remembered that he had to be somewhere
or decided, in mid-jump, to leave his wife.

The man who gets up from the bed turns and looks down
at himself, yes, but the self of a moment ago
still there, an instant ghost.

Chronophotographic images made by √Čtienne-Jules Marey (1830-1904)