Saturday, August 27, 2016

August 26: Magician, Justin Runge, "Escapology"

One of the things I dreamed of being when I was a kid was a magician.  I read books on Harry Blackstone and Houdini.  Got a kid's magic set for Christmas that included a plastic top hat with a trapdoor inside to hide playing cards and a stuffed rabbit.  I almost chopped my finger off with a tiny trick guillotine that malfunctioned.

And I watched television specials featuring a magician named Doug Henning.  He did cool things like walking through brick walls and making elephants disappear.  He may have looked like a reject from the cast of the musical Hair, but he was pretty darn cool.  And he was a superstar magician before David Copperfield came along with his good looks and Las Vegas productions.

Doug Henning proved that you didn't have to be Cary Grant in order to be successful.  You could have long hair, buck teeth, and bell bottoms.

Saint Marty didn't become a magician.  He became a poet, which means that he can make entire audiences disappear with a single poem.


by:  Justin Runge

After the magician's last trick (he escapes a home imploding), I'm sent to bed. Still, I hear it all—low mutterings, live studio audiences, the fridge's lips sucking open and shut, the dactyl taps of toothbrush to sink.

Then the house dies down, hushed to nothing.

Now sleep, this quiet asks, a hypnotist, as if sleep is a safe place, not a safe to break free from, a lock box not known as coffin or tomb. This bed, to me, is a tacked-shut barrel, and I'm swept to the falls. So teach me an escapologist's calm, magician, handcuffed and seconds to tumbling: Do you dislocate? Do you clamber? Do you cry? How do I walk through this wall-like night?

He was cool

1 comment:

  1. Love Doug Henning! So much so that I could never warm up to Copperfield.

    I also had the magic set, and a ventriloquist dummy - ready for multiple performance opportunities. Only drawback to my career was not really liking people. Oh well.