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.

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