little blue man

Buzz Lightyear 

So much for self, then. The little blue man
is whatever she would have him be,
a silent mime posed in such predicaments,
bizarre and dreamlike, as her whim dictates –
though to put him through his paces is to lend
this valiant clad-in-azure ready-made Tom Thumb
a seeming particle of seeming-self, and her fond acts
of challenge and protection, this drama in which
what’s lost is always found, enact a self for her.
Muteness is of the essence:
he will never answer back, never protest.
His head is not an echo-chamber
thronged with the ecstatic buzz-
buzz  of conversations that have never happened,
foiled gambits, the droll embarrassments of meaning.
Yet he is not even his own avatar,
for thousands like him are scattered about the world:
adrift in pockets and bags;
dropped by chance at the ancient roots of a tree;
lost in the cool galleries of the museum;
abandoned in a wilderness of glass;
trapped forever beneath ice,
some on their backs, some upright,
some bent double, faces thrust toward their feet;
or consigned to an incinerator far out beyond the city
where toxic smoke can be allowed to rise
at a proper distance from the living.
There is none now he has the power to save.

Photographs by Susan de Sola; Words by Clive Watkins

This jewel-like chapbook has a long poem by English poet Clive Watkins interleaved with 12 full-color photo plates by Susan de Sola. These imaginative photos feature a small action-figure from the 1960s, oddly, sometimes playfully, out of context. The engaging poem reflects the photo-images in ways both humorous and serious...

" Little Blue Man strikes me as a beautifully original idea that appeals to the child in every perceptive adult." Anne Stevenson

If you have any comments on this publication, or questions about it, Susan de Sola and Clive Watkins  would be pleased to hear from you.