part two, in which i aim at the experience of landing on the wet cement of the metro passage at Vavin with my physicalist pincers, rubber goggles on my face in case something squirty should come loose and propel itself toward my inquirious eyes:
— sitting on a bag of frozen green beans, or: the coefficient of friction —
how quickly had it happened? first, i’d been thinking about how easy it would be to slip – then i’d put it out of my mind, determined to remain, carelessly, on my feet. and then, there you have it… the hairpin turn between the bottom of the staircase and the passage to the turn-style left my foot catching water, the water decreasing the coefficient of friction between smooth-rubber-sneaker-sole & cement – and: whoops.
the speed with which i hit the floor, landing thigh, hip, butt, and exterior of arm, can be measured by the fact that i didn’t have time to regret that false step. the mental ticker went something like this: doot, doot, doot, going to the f-loor. i’m on the floor.
that f was supposed to start the word four-train, but, you see, the brain knows many words starting with f, and so it simply continued making sense, having not had enough time to fight it.
getting up was an only slightly less swift act – it can be measured by the time it took me to think: that broad in the fake fur coat saw the whole thing & walked right past me – didn’t even look down, let alone inquire as to my condition. HERUMPH.
paris living has turned me on to soccer and rugby. walk it off! i heard myself saying to myself. walk it off.
[begin smily face, et al. see. part one.]
addendum to post:
the coefficient of friction in this post means that poetry does more than flirt with physics – they make transcendental babies – babies who make language to dance with their own bruises, who touch metaphors to bumps as if they were warm compresses, poultices of syllable and tone.
i should end this post by referencing the green beans, which i did sit on, and which did, in the physical world this post started in, significantly reduce the swelling.)