The Cheering by Belinda Subraman

The Cheering

Sorrow is hollow ground
with dried mud
cracking trapped space.
It’s wearing green screen suits
against a green wall
freezing everything but faces
with movies projected on cheeks
we watch in the nude
drinking opinionated Scotch
with American inhalable fear.
We are molecules, cells
invisible parts of something
that brightens in abundance
or bounces in 4:00 AM non-stop minds.
Hyperbole is our common name
trained to the glare that scares and moans.
We move as if concrete were setting
on multiple alternate lives.
Sensation is the escape we love.
Imagination winks us on.

 

 

Sculptures by Belinda Subraman

Posted in Belinda Subraman

Nitrium, bonus poem from the “Periodic Table of Poetry” series – based on the original name (before Natrium) for Sodium, #11, Na – by Chicago poet Janet Kuypers

Nitrium

Janet Kuypers

(bonus poem from the “Periodic Table of Poetry” series)
based on the original name (before Natrium) for Sodium, #11, Na
started 1/16/15, edited and completed 1/29/15

I’ve been studying elements
in the Periodic Table, and when
I heard the word “Nitrium,”
it made me laugh
(thinking of Nitrous Oxide).
So I looked it up online…
The only thing I could find
was from the Memory Alpha
in Star Trek Wikia,
and they could only guess
that Nitrium was either an alloy
or a metallic element.

But the history buff in me
remembered that Nitrium
is a variant of natrium,
and it was the original name
for the element Sodium.

(I mean, doctors even call
low sodium levels in the blood
hyponatremia…)

So as I read up
at my Star Trek Wikia —
I suddenly realized how
essential this Nitrium really was:

If you remember basic chemistry,
sodium reacts violently with water,
disintegrating, or even exploding
(no no no, you’re thinking of salt,
that’s not straight sodium,
that’s why it mixes with water…)

And as I read, Nitrium
(which was the first name
for Sodium)
was prevalent in asteroids
and it was used
in so many places
in the construction
of Federation starships.

Now, when it comes to our own bodies,
Sodium (or should I say Nitrium)
controls blood pressure
and blood volume —
it’s essential in our bodies
to keep them running smoothly.

So it makes total sense
that Galaxy-glass vessels
used Nitrium in their ships,
from computers, to engines
to their life support systems.

Nitrium was so crucial
to the Cost of Living —
you see, I expanded my research
from Star Trek Wikia
to straight-up Wikipedia
and discovered that parasites
were eating the Nitrium
all over the Enterprise,
jeopardizing the ship’s integrity.

Because as I’ve learned,
with every Periodic Table
element out there
there’s a good side
and a bad side:
if Nitrium is used
all over the Enterprise,
something could easily come along
to destroy it as well.

I mean, think of it
in our own bodies:
when Sodium (or Nitrium)
reacts with water
and forms Sodium Hydroxide,
but this reaction
gets the Hydrogen so hot
that it burns.

And if Nitrium
was the original name for Sodium,
that probably explains why
you never see
a Galaxy-class starship
entering a planet’s atmosphere,
where there’s water in the air.
Because really,
the people at Star Trek learned
that even just a little water in the air
would be enough
to make their starship
disintegrate
around them.

…Really, whenever the Enterprise
actually goed to a planet,
they never land on the planet
with their big Galaxy-class starship,
they send a shuttle,
or they beam someone down,
because in this case,
the water in the air
that’s embedded in the atmosphere,
that water could react
with the Sodium —
oops, I mean,
that water could react
with the Nitrium —
and it might actually
do the Enterprise in.

As I said,
with all the elements
I’ve studied,
there’s a good side
and a bad side to them.
We might desperately need them,
but they also may somehow
do us in
if they’re mixed
in the just the right way.

Because if you sit in a lab
in the twenty-first century,
you can watch this element
react with water in a beaker —
and if you’re going
where no one has gone before
in the twenty-fourth century,
you might have to be sure
your Nitrium-rich ship
finds no water in space,
and finds no parasites
that may eat you
out of your only way home.

Posted in Janet Kuypers, Janet Kuypers Poems, Periodic Table of the Elements Poems, Poetry Posts, Poetry videos Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

After Life | Life Lines | Crime Scene | Pantoum 911 by Jenene Ravesloot

after-life-life-lines-crime-scene-pantoum-911-by-jenene-ravesloot-2

 

After Life

Four red circles on the wall-to-wall
carpet in the master bedroom where
a bureau used to be; a fake ficus
along the chair rail in the hallway;
peeling wallpaper, peeling paint,
damaged doors, more doors that
lead to other rooms. When they
are turned, glass doorknobs skin
knuckles against the frame.

A threadbare stair runner leads
down to an empty hallway and
an empty living room except for
the dead possum that lies in the
fireplace with a damaged doll.

An open front door creaks on its
hinges like a porch swing while
the usual birds sing in the usual
fading light.


First Published in Skylines,
The Poets’ Club of Chicago,
78th Anniversary Anthology, 2014

 

Life Lines

Orphanages, foster homes,
parochial schools, marriage,
separation, divorce;
nights on someone else’s
couch; dank rooms rented by
the week in Philly, L.A.,
Miami, and Chicago;
corned beef hash hangouts
tiled subway-white;4 a.m.
bars, sawdust-covered floors,
boilermakers, burgers;
Figaro’s saloon on Oak Street;
jazz until 6 a.m.; indifferent lovers
whose names you can’t recall;
walks alone in the park at noon;
horns, whistles, harbor bells
that used to comfort; the sounds
of rats’ claws behind a bedroom
wall.

 
after-life-life-lines-crime-scene-pantoum-911-by-jenene-ravesloot
Crime Scene

Blue morning glories sagging in the rain;
sound of blue rain in blue alley shadows—
the click, click, click of metal against metal,
then, bang, bang, bang.

Three bullets for sure, maybe more somewhere,
no witnesses except perhaps this mewing cat
with matted blood-spattered fur or that smooth
bronze face peeking through the iron bars
of a basement window.


First published in the Chronicles of Scarbo, Second Edition,
2012, 2013. Also published in The Poetry Storehouse, 2014
as an audio file in 2014. Later in 2014, “Crime Scene” was
made into a video poem by Paul Broderick/The Poetry
Storehouse.

 

Pantoum 911

The neighbor’s parrot screams There’s been a crime.
The white oncidiums burn in their pots; they’ve been hexed,
but it’s here on the bed you’ll lie.
You toss and cannot rest.

The white oncidiums burn in their pots; they’ve been hexed.
The tides push in and out like a spoon.
You toss and cannot rest,
begin to hum a childhood tune.

The tides push in and out like a spoon.
Seagulls circle evening’s fading light.
You begin to hum a childhood tune.
Clouds cut the sky. A half-moon takes flight.

Seagulls circle evening’s fading light,
but it’s here on the bed you’ll lie.
Clouds cut the sky. A half-moon takes flight.
The neighbor’s parrot screams There’s been a crime.

Jenene Ravesloot

First published in Loot: Stolen Memories & Tales Out of School,
2008. Later published as a song for the CD White Narcissus, 2009

 

                                                Jenene Ravesloot Bio

 Jenene Ravesloot is a member of The Poets’ Club of Chicago, the Illinois State Poetry Society, Poets & Patrons, and the TallGrass Writers Guild.

She has written three books of Poetry:

Loot: Stolen Memories & Tales Out of SchoolThe Chronicles of Scarbo, and Floating Worlds.

Jenene has published in The Poetry Storehouse, Connotation Press: An Online Artifact, Packingtown Review, The Miscreant, After Hours Press, Exact Change Only, Sam Smith’s The Journal in the UK, THIS Literary Magazine, and other online journals, print journals, and anthologies.

 

Posted in Jenene Ravesloot

Birds on a Chair

birds on chair

I am lost
You are lost
We are lost
in a crowd of one
Our pretty words
rattle the wind we blow.
I am lost
You are lost
We are lost
All are cycles,
but am I a cycle?
That bird.
That bird repeats itself
It’s not the same bird as that bird in my youth,
is it?
It surely looks the same and pauses to look at me
the same.
Is he singing,
“Is that the same person?”
“Is that the same person?”
“Is that the same person?”

……………….david michael jackson

Posted in art music poetry