In first position, flicker, 2am—
Chaplin is fantastically manlike, no
Elizabeth the first, mind, but nonetheless
impressive. Always I’ve admired his
natural reticence to speech.
The stache, the tails: in my heart
he stands for something alongside
comedy, a substance either wet
or not whole, with tears in it. He’s
not unlike a country, or the cinema—
a ghost of what’s unsaid and shown
or hand-cranked quickly then swallowed.
Watching him, my laughter
is a kind of slaughter.