32 feet per second per second

A slip from gray stone
and off the ledge
he plummets,
a resistible man
toward
immovable sidewalk.

Strangers’ arms
outstretch,
not to catch him,
but to mark
the speck of him

grown larger, while
his thin screams
dodge in and out
of city traffic.

Tumbling blind,
severed from
all previous connection,

the man
never wishes to land,
but to fall past earth
and orbit
a safe distance
from grief.

===
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28 thoughts on “32 feet per second per second

  1. Oh, this is so very sad. He must be in the midst of deep grief, but this is not the way to work through it. A very, VERY vivid capture here. I can picture the scene through your words.

  2. Three thoughts: First, I love the resistible man. That says so much so efficiently. We all know why he has ‘slipped’ without you spelling it out for us. That we all see it differently is a bonus.

    Second, as everyone has said, the close really highlights the impact, which you have again alluded to without spelling it out.

    Third, I couldn’t help thinking of Douglas Adams’ explanation of flying. The hero of his Hitch-hiker trilogy (in 5 parts!), Arthur Dent, manages to fly when he is falling to the ground and, by being distracted at the last second, contrives to miss. HIs ability to fly continues right up to the point that he reaises that what he is doing is impossible.

  3. Hey Matt – this poem has life that speaks to the human condition. Orbiting just as the earth spins to the rhythms of both love and grief. Magnificent capture of how far depression can take the human spirit. So good to read you again!

  4. Thanks to all who’ve posted comments so far. I felt it was one of my stronger entries of late, which made me worry, because I’m often not the best judge of my own material.

  5. I don’t think I’ve read a simpler or more evocative description of the human heart in eclipse, or the grief that is a stone to large to swallow. Your judgement was correct, I think–one of your best, and that’s very good indeed,Matt.

  6. …what a sad capture of reality for him… i wonder how many times he wished to wake up no more… i can only sigh for this man & the many of his kind in this cruel society… great write… smiles…

  7. This grabs you from the beginning… a resistible man… what a concept. And I was with him throughout his descent. I get the idea of not wanting to hit bottom, but to fly away into… someplace else, some other life. So sad, the suicides… Thx for commenting at Sharp Little, too. I don’t usually reply, but instead go to the person’s blog… Peace, Amy

  8. Wow! This is superb …. “a resistible man” is perfect – I wish I’d thought of that … I agree that this is a heart wrenching expression of grief

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