BERKELEY'S NEWS • OCTOBER 01, 2022

why would he trip me like this: A poem

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JANUARY 29, 2022

I recently watched David Lynch’s Eraserhead for the first time

and the scene that stood out to me most was not Henry’s beheading or the alien child’s guts

Somehow

           and it was at the very beginning

it was the shot in which Henry — the main character — is carrying groceries to his home

through an essentially a black-and-white industrial scene

and Henry is clutching his bag

           and he is clutching it with both arms

           and he is walking hurriedly                                 when he steps in a hole in the mud —

 

that part struck me.

           and it was at the very beginning

when after tripping in the hole and after lifting his shoe out of the hole

he spent some time looking at the ground .stopping.

 

and somehow this act foreshadowed and encapsulated Henry’s awkwardness

 

and Henry becomes equal parts unwilling and willing participant, but also detached observer 

here he is all in order 

           and at the very beginning

in my mind, this short Auseinandersetzung with his surroundings constitutes — not really an Aha-moment 

                                            more of a huch-moment (read the ch as a guttural, 

                                                                                                   almost as if rolling an rrr at the back of your throat)

                                            or a huh

 

As i was walking home i noticed 

                                                       (anxiously playing with an acorn in my hand)

that i had become detached 

           as i had been focused on finding meaning in image 

                                            (i had started doing this at the very beginning of Eraserhead)

and i felt myself more observer — even though participant

 

And I think in moments 

           that in moments like Henry’s we become closer to being observers in that we briefly step outside ourselves 

           to consider, as Henry does, 

           from the very beginning, staring at the ground

                                                       “Why would he trip me like this?”

 

Auseinandersetzung is a German word meaning “fully engaging with a problem or thought,” but it implies an intensity as it can also be translated as “a conflict.”

 

Contact Mikkel Nagorsen at 

LAST UPDATED

JANUARY 30, 2022


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