After seeing the disembodied, artificial daisy jointed stem, the color
of lemon meringue
into seven paintings
mounted soundlessly one for each hand-
ful of petalrays,
ripped out like hair;
two for the starry
on the validated walls, how
could you think we would fail?
The act of being alive is the navigation through parts:
stem veins leaves fruit pods
Even if my prismatic stamina
(a rainbow separated into its seven-note scale
like inverse flares, dispersed
soldiers—the bloom of nuclear families fractured
casts mutual love, how can my efforts project
credibility onto the vast exactitudes of your horizon?
Immodest expectations shriek sforzando orange—
poisonous, radioactive orange
powder, a coloring agent
swallowed the encapsulated moment
: he intoned something about the atmosphere
moisture garlands the mushroomy strat-
ospheric layer—as “silver bullets”
of sunlight pummel the sky,
its transparent brow goes robin’s egg blue
: he missiled new words for our armored half-spaces
(“vane”: a metal stabilizing fin attached to the tail of a bomb, see shooting star)
Most fell away, what remains is little pieces and the name:
“Mass spectrometers”—black boxes with vacuum-type attachments—
solid rocks are pulverized, then the powder is suspended
in water—light-waves pulse through the mixture, winnowing,
to find uranium specks hidden in the unruly folds of bent color...
I don’t want to look up the whole meaning—
I like how the body keeps bursting in.
Books don’t croon science; they’re too pure.
“Uranium” because Uranus—mythological god personifying the sky—
had recently been located, the seventh planet from the sun.
(Oh, the irreverent outcomes of coincidental collisions!)
He told me about mass spectrometers:
... during World War II women used the appliance
to test for the presence of uranium-238 in batches
of carnotite and uraninite. (Leaving sleeping children, dirty pans)
they picked rocks like roadside cactus blooms—similar scratch,
new weight pressing their wrists. Night after night,
elbows on wood or Formica (yolky light
orbiting bent heads), they detected (pies cooling on windowsills)
the silvery isotope. It’s non-splitable, but when irradiated
produces (loneliness) fissionable plutonium-239.
—“Appropriate arrangements” may protect
against sustained explosions, see daisy chain.
—Heed distractions of (isolation and) uranium-235.
Underestimated, the way slivers always are (nein?)
pollen staining their fingernails...
the rustle of this glasswoven motherland
(satin prisms)—the lacy slips
we were lowered from
I only want to know from his valved voice.
My habits of high bliss,
like rain tumbling from galactic reaches,
hiss against the dredged bed of mystery.
Scrape a Geiger counter across the fuming ground; it will tick
when it noses out uranium’s truffle-blush.
Imagine a rainbow glow.
Now, paint terralove by numbers:
1: public (law)
2: caution (prejudice)
3: opportunities for indigo, sex, or liberty
4: luck, connections, hard work, kitchen tables, and some red tape
5: dreams of flight, heaven, special effects
6: hope (that turmoil is temporary)
(that it will never happen again)
One of the perfect things about living
near a creek that barely budges
a town flat as a forearm bone,
is that any direction, any movement at all,
feels like progress.
A dusty grudge so endless and winding
becomes referential, reverential, even
religious in scope.
Even as advances in microscopy
dispelled dust as the universal
symbol of smallness
—whose tiny, tinted prisms help us see colors
—which is found powdering the farthest star,
pillowing halo after lit halo
—which is found along the bottom of the ocean, cavorting
with Aphrodite (a fuzzy undersea worm)
False Botanical Studies:
These renditions of a daisy seem at first to be scientific studies in their meticulous
attention to detail. Upon closer inspection they reveal themselves to be re-
presentations of a disassembled artificial flower. Likewise, the frames
(which look like traditional wood frames) are actually Formica
that has a simulated woodgrain finish.
What I’m best at is adoration
which is sometimes confused
Half-life: The time required for half the nuclei in a specific isotope to undergo
radioactive decay. As a radioactive substance accumulates time, its half-life
“Secret gully” or “Dry hole, a ditch.”
“Clutter is easily remedied” or “Compose yourself.”
There is a correct staccato to the things you measure.
Rendering in sound what is imagined in color
is an astrochemical attempt
whole or unalloyed)
stardust is just shed skin)
through a prism we see only dust—that’s what color is:
the hinged cleaving of astral thighs,
amassing allied part-
icles of desire.
Can you hear it?
Can you isolate it?
Can you love