Lecture on Emmett Till

(poem ending on a line from Scientific American)

………………………The measure of disorder is
called Entropy. It marks the difference between
the past & future, giving direction to time:
Emmett Till winks or waves or speaks
or says nothing to Carolyn Bryant.
………………………………………She begins
to accelerate. The smaller body, Emmett Till
is thus caught in her orbit. As she runs to her car,
Till is spun home. The resulting vacuum fills
with talk–the entropy of smiling or not, waving
or not, saying “Bye, Baby”
……………………………….or eating candy.
Greater vacuums appear; the star of Mississippi
goes nova, then collapses, becoming a hole
in space. Its edge is an Event Horizon, a ring
of inert men from whom even light cannot
escape.
………The point at which Emmett Till enters
this region is not known. The best calculations
put it at midnight, 100 hours from eclipsing
the woman. Upon entering, he is drawn to
a singularity of infinite density,
………………………………….a dynamic
known as Teaching A Boy A Lesson.
Afterwards little of him is recognizable. He is
returned to the earth as mass or energy, “rock
of waters,” the meaning of the word Tallahatchie,
the river where he reappears.
…………………………………..His remains
are highly charged, continuously re-nucleating,
expanding with each revelation. Some studies
imply the belt of men has dispersed. Other math
suggests replacement by new bodies.
…………………………………………Radical data
indicate stasis, polarized values, forced harmony.
Under this stress, some develop a halo.

 

© Brendan Constantine, all rights reserved. This poem first appeared in issue No. 31.2 of The Pinch, September 2011. It can be found in the book ‘Birthday Girl With Possum’ (2011 Write Bloody Publishing)