The Replicants in Question
"Every angel is terrifying."
—Rilke, The Duino Elegies
What’s this? Deckard asks: not who.
Clever bit of exposition, to reveal the quarry
to us and Deck together, let him query Bryant
for us, our proxy, blue membrane
of smoke haze rising between them.
Nexxus 6. Each description straight
from dimestore pulp, a reduction
to function, the body’s brute
uses. The heads, factory fresh,
spin as in a shop window. Skull-capped,
mute and gazeless, a sameness.
No snake tattoo, no shock of white hair,
no hate love fear anger envy yet.
Transformation, the interpreted world: time
cut off as failsafe. And if
the machine doesn’t work?
Flight, light: Deckard narrows his eyes.
Spinners flare out their flame-red haloes.
The score recalls its daring first notes --
a kestrel keening—
This poem is from the author's in-process manuscript addressing the 1982 Ridley Scott film Blade Runner. Envisioned as a sort of "poetry commentary track" for the film's Final Cut version, the poems address the movie's themes of memory, the body, and what it means to be human by weaving screen action and imagery with personal memory, interpretation, and a splash of Rilke.
Jan Bottiglieri lives and writes in Schaumburg, IL. She is a managing editor for the poetry annual RHINO and received her MFA in Poetry from Pacific University. Jan’s poems have appeared in a variety of journals and anthologies including Harpur Palate, Court Green, Bellevue Literary Review, and Rattle. She is the author of the chapbook Where Gravity Pools the Sugar and the full-length poetry collection Alloy. Visitjanbottiglieri.com.
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