Up against the lens

My lens is not ten inches but two but 
my wife tells me size doesn't matter,
size isn't every thing and I know that 
is just what wives of men with small lenses
say to make them feel better, to help them
feel better about themselves when they 
find it so hard to find anything to feel and 
I do know that size really doesn't matter
and besides, two inches is plenty big 
enough for me to hide behind as long 
as I keep it between me and the world.

It's not the tool you use but the trade you
craft, the craft you trade, the crafty trade-
offs you make in your life, the choices you 
make or don't make, the drafty voices that 
whisper to you through your pillow at night.

And yes, being a man, I will look at your cleav-
ing words--at where the words have split your 
chest in two--and I will stare, there, where they 
expose your heart and yes, I will try to capture 
that, in images, with words of my own, with pixels 
and phonemes and why not?  It's precisely what 
I do every time I look in the mirror and stare at the 
face that stares back.  
                                    There is nothing else for it.

These words try to describe some thing or state
that can not be described and this lens, this shutter,
will try to capture what can not be captured.
Moment upon moment upon pixelated moment
the sensors get bigger and more sensitive and 
the noise increases and the interference increases 
and the pieces, the particles and the pixels shrink 
and split and collide and spin off into incomprehensibility.

This world is and always was and always will be 
shattered by our sight.  Our very presence splinters 
the present into shards of light while we remain 
in the dark, while we wield words and glass with 
equal equanimity and impotence, like torches, 
like flashlights in a vacuum, poised on the edge 
as we are, staring into the only abyss we know,
the only place we can call home, the only hole
we can possibly hide in, and hide we must
or be shattered as well by our own splintering
vision.  Words, pixels, grains of silver or molecules 
of mercury-laced pigment licked from fingers all 
make us slowly mad as we suck the life from all
these little tasted bits and bytes, as we long to 
hold it all together--on the canvas, on the page,
on the screen--together with whatever is left
of any sanity the world has left to loan us. 

And is that all it comes down to?  A yes or 
a no?  A universally remote on or off, click 
or don't click and miss the moment either way?

We will miss the moment any way we can.  We
strive for new and interesting ways to miss 
the moment, anything to avoid staring that 
simple on/off switch in the face, one hand fighting 
to flip it up while the other tries to turn it around
into something (anything!) more, some other 
question that we might actually want to answer,  
some problem infinitely more complicated and 
therefore easier for us to grapple with, one more
substantial, one that we can talk ourselves around 
and around to anywhere but the truth of our
ignorance, the only truth we'll ever know 
in a world reduced to words on a plate.