Hedy Lamarr was awarded patent #2,292,387 for her invention, a
radio guiding system for torpedoes which was used in WWII.
Hedy Lamarr climbed out of the window,
& began a pipeline of invention....
Oh, she’s my combustible darling
of Extase, and silver imagination.
Ions bump into each other in the projector-beam,
in the cellulose state of drowsiness.
Window: map of galaxies, protocol of narrowing worlds,
buttery night, wireless wobble, sleepy little cipher.
Desire via the radio signals: spread-spectrum like dust
floating, but dust that defies jamming.
Tiny perforations rotating,
like the black uniformed Austrians
in their jackboots and riflebutts. Turn left
to sustain, right to soften. Paper rolls rotate
within their wood container,
directing “Fig Leaf” by Joplin or “Sugar” by James P.
Lines are invisible hinges:
their sequences powered
entirely by suction: an auction,
a duck’s flute’s
touchdown via the pianolist’s levers
to musical detonation.
Navy Memo: Hedy’s whippen springs a set-off button.
How can we lift her damper or her damper-spoon
to depress a key or provide efficient suction
to her exhauster bellows?
Feel the feet upon her reservoir of treadles.
Pump her return stroke, lower her pressure and, into
the atmosphere, feed the paper into her take-up
spool, where her channel—sealing near the pneumatic,
flexible leather pouch—admits air where her hole
rests against its upper seat.
Gershwin’s large diameter rubber hose, her throaty conductor.
Nude Horseback Riding
The horse’s muscular neck shimmies in the stiletto sunrise
as the plane trees drowse under the fat rainy dust.
Her clothes, pinned to a wayward branch, are the vampire
into which the air’s blood moves. Hedy, silent as a horse
with its triangular physique and barrel torso rests.
The horse does its stomp of mortared panorama
across the furred field. His chestnut coat licks the wind
like an electric eel. Hedy, airy as a coal coated in powder,
swims and mimes herself as a jockey in full silk pantaloons.
The horse splits the air and wind fills its space. The torpedo
whistles through the waves and water enters there
as Germans smoke and dream of Elementargedanken*.
As the Zwischenraum* stuffs with air, with water,
the silent region of the film and the silence of the missile
pierces the metal hull with icicle blue eyes. The End.
*“Elementary thoughts of humankind.”
*“The space between things.”