A. Van Jordan
and the lights expire, and the projection whirrs to action,
I'm as excited as a boy again.In case the title of the book hadn't let us know where he stands, he's immediately made it clear that he is in love with the movies--the whole wide range of them, from popular contemporary movies to the silent classics to the whole library of foreign films. In other poems, he lets his imagination move through these films, summarizing them, learning from them, or simply getting lost in the splendor of them. In The Cineaste Jordan's art rises from his ability to give himself completely to another artistic medium.
But the films also become something more important, more central to the poet's understanding of the world. In a poem shaped and inspired by Bunuel and Dali's Un Chien Andalou and its famous, troubling image of the eye slit by the razor, Jordan writes, "as if anyone could interpret the colliding / images, again and again, dragging / my imagination behind me, / I begin assembling."