Two Poems by Zayne Turner

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Destruction Derby

Dark shapes in the pit, 
             on their bellies, on bended knee 
 in machine gore and shop light, praying, 
                                                 coaxing and cursing 
 a last turnover, last fire 
 from the cylinders, straining 
                                     after notes of metal-on-metal, engines testifying 
 to the dirt.  They are not beautiful—
 sweat-coated, beer-soaked.
In the ring, it is time, 
 between ignition and impact,  
                         steady excision of mercy 
 from each hit.  It is the ways
 to survival, the last round.  To be the one driving out, despite
                         unlubricated gears and engine fires, 
                                                 to space on the winner’s trophy.
 How those stalled in the mud 
 will be winched free
                          and hauled
 to the scrap heap,
                        to the seasons and rust.



On Refinement

For company, the desired affect 
 is yellowcake, petit fours,
 princess cut.  But first 
                         there is pitchblende
 kimberlite matrix
             the quartz body to be reckoned.
One must carefully consider
                         bath composition: 
 rhodium   musk   lilac   alkali.   Tin-tub or in-situ, firelight 
 being a matter of flint and tinder.  
                                     So, too, considerations of the amalgamation process—
 whither the life 
             in last year’s stockings, cut and drift 
             at the elbows, sump settings.  Anisotropic pressures, questions 
 of how one best achieves the desired levels 
                                                             of irradiation.
And now, progress.  Arrive 
             at matters of the first water, country of origin, 
 sodium light
                   & fire     now equally the product 
 of crown height, angle, interplay of facets 
 across the pavilion, 
                         polish and symmetry.




Zayne Turner grew up in the rural High Desert of Oregon. She is the author of the chapbook Memory of My Mouth, available from dancing girl press. Her work can be found online in places like Ancora Imparo, Coldfront, or Poecology, and her virtual workspace: zayne.posterous.com.

Yellow cake uranium photo courtesy Shutterstock.

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