Academic journal article Michigan Quarterly Review

One Week

Academic journal article Michigan Quarterly Review

One Week

Article excerpt

(Buster Keaton, 1920)

Buster Keaton's every move strikes

without the sting of pity, just the sweat

of arms swinging hammers and nailing

planks of wood; he builds a scene to astonish

all in awe. There's nothing more physical

than a man in love, but jealousy

renders me still: The story opens

with him marrying my ex. At first,

I simply want to warn him, but they seem

so happy . . . Simply put, he appears

to have it all: A young bride, a home

as a wedding gift, and a plot of land.

What else am I to do but foil his plans?

The home comes with directions in eight

sequentially numbered boxes marked

Portable House Co. AU he has

to do is follow the order and build;

then the couple will be complete. But

will he make it all work? Well, the blur

of their happiness overcomes me,

so I switch the numbers on the boxes.

And, yes, Buster constructs a catastrophe,

but he builds this mechanical mess

with his own calloused hands, which is enough

to impress his bride. …

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