To Marshall McLuhan, a Poem by Silvia Falsaperla


To Marshall McLuhan


You were right, dear professor,

the great vortex came in time

whirling us

into the pond

in which Narcissus saw his

                         beauteous reflection.


No longer an extension

of the hand, the mouth, the ear,

no longer a tool,

but an obsession, a possession

Narcissus mesmerized by his own image

                         till he lingered

and perished.


In the dispiriting cafés

in front of our Apple screens—the apple was

once a fruit, now mechanized, and bitten

like the original—

                          the seductive bite

that drove us out.


Narcissus solitary and non-conversant,

transfixed by the still and moving image,

his words clipped—non-words,

language diminished—Buckle!


You had said Buckle!

is the most important word

                              in The Windhover.

We have buckled—not to the spirited bird—

but to the maelstrom


our mechanical bride,

                   the great seduction,

the wind from the subway grate

                    blowing and whirling her wondrous dress!


Once we were discernible

even in front of TV sets, even in the subway trains,

reading the newspaper or a book

avoiding invasive eyes, stealing a look

                                    at a man’s jaw or a woman’s dress;

each inward, in possession of one’s own thoughts,

idle daydreaming—till we got off at our



O prof, I’d rather be in the painting by Renoir—

                      Luncheon of the Boating Party—a finer and more

textured impression than any photograph:

the chatter in French seduces my ear,

the wine glasses clink,

the breeze from the river flaps the striped canopy

of the Maison Fournaise,

the men lean on the women beauteous to them;

                              le bonheur of 1881…

the good hour.


Copyright © Silvia Falsaperla

Published by the League of Canadian Poets, June 2022

Silvia Falsaperla writes poetry and fiction. She has completed
a poetry manuscript, a hybrid chapbook of poetry and short
stories, a children’s picture book, and is currently working on
another collection of poetry and short stories. She works and
lives in Toronto.

Silvia Falsaperla

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