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


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

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
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.

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



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

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


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.


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

Pablo Neruda Documentaries

Pablo Neruda died at the age 69 allegedly from advanced prostrate cancer just 12 days after the military coup by Pinochet, which unseated his close friend Salvador Allende the left wing reformist President of Chile. Gabriel Garcia Marquez hailed Neruda “the greatest poet of the 20th Century in any language”.

It was well known where his political sympathies lay and he was advised by the Mexican Embassy to go into exile. The day before he was due to leave he was rushed to hospital where he died suddenly. Over forty years suspicions have remained of foul play and that he was poisoned. One of the arguments being that he was a danger to the new government because he would write against their regime from Mexico.

In 2013 a Chilean judge ordered his body be exhumed and autopsied, which was carried out in April of that year. In November, the official report of an international forensic team stated they could find no evidence of his murder. Despite their conclusion, mystery still surrounds the circumstances of his death and the debate and investigation continues.

Even members of his family are divided in their views and the Chilean Communist party point out that this is the 3rd time Pablo Neruda’s body has been exhumed and that many bodies were disposed of through illicit means under the Pinochet regime, in which case the body examined by the foresnic team may not be Pablo Neruda’s body at all.
(Robin Ouzman Hislop)

pablo neruda documentaries
pablo neruda documentaries2
See also Poems of Pablo Neruda