This one has been in my Amazon wishlist for quite some time, and it was definitely worth the wait. I didn’t get the full impact for I already knew Flynn’s story from his book “The Ticking Is The Bomb” and the film about his life “Being Flynn“—I recommend both—but it didn’t take anything away from his powerful words. I found the poem in which he personifies his mother very revealing.
As fate would have it I caught the tail end of an old, back-when-I-was-a-kid cartoon. Yosemite Sam is cajoled off a cliff, of course he doesn’t fall until he realizes that he has walked off the edge. This is what Flynn was getting at with his poem “Cartoon Physics, part 1.”
“you will be saved. A child
places her hand on the roof of a schoolbus,
& drives across a city of sand. She knows
the exact spot it will skid, at which point
the bridge will give, who will swim to safety
& who will be pulled under by sharks. She will learn
that if a man runs off the edge of a cliff
he will not fall
until he notices his mistake.”
from Some Ether, 2000
Graywolf Press, St. Paul, Minn.
Copyright 2000 by Nick Flynn.