Tag Archives: physics

Of Physics and Publications: Beloit Poetry Journal

First, apologies for my relative absence from this site and yours, with only two poems poking their scruffy heads up over the last five weeks or so. I was in a battle with the laws of physics. More specifically, I was taking a physics course at the University of Virginia. It’s a long story. Okay, it’s not that long a story. It was only because I have lived in this physical world for so long already that I managed to survive, more by wits than learning. At any rate, the transcript for the course is now on its way to my undergraduate home, 28 years after I took my last undergraduate class, to fulfill a distribution requirement unrelated to my field of study. And at some point before the leaves fall off the trees this year, some document attesting to my B.A. in English from Cornell University should actually reach me. What was it like for a fifty year old guy attending a summer course with 18 year old athletes and pre-freshmen?

Long story. But one I’ll tell in time, if there is no more pressing news. But for today, there actually is some news.

During this time of my Sisyphean struggle with inertia, momentum, torque, and midterms, I received notice from Beloit Poetry Journal that they wish to publish a few of my poems.

I am guessing most of you are familiar with BPJ, but if not, feel free to pay them a visit here. My poems will appear in the Winter 2015 issue.

For the moment, I am happily relieved of my recent burdens–remembering the relationship of energy to volts to power to current, and so on–and prepared to get back to writing poetry. I hope you’re still out there to read some, and I will once again be lurking around your own sites to read all that I’ve missed since mid-July.

Translational Velocity, Full Moon, Mid-Afternoon in Early June

Translational Velocity, Full Moon, Mid-Afternoon in Early June

It is more than how quickly these lines reach you.
It is that they move you. How through them

You change position in time. I used to think love
was the measure of an object’s rotational inertia,

Well not exactly in those words, but how things
in a given state should stay in that state without end

But I was mistaken, that measure is simply mass
as it spins or doesn’t, assuming further it has a center

Around which to spin and absolutely nothing
that could make it wobble or twist. Your hands

And wrist gently, impossibly, your neck and jaw
set the stillness spinning, under the hidden moon

And the leaves with their riot of turning stems
in the slight breeze and the alternating paths

They allow the light to the pavement
beneath the sycamore limbs, as we stand still

Moving on the inside, or move over time, love is the change
In direction or speed, love is the inconsistent

liveliness, the moving picture, projected on any surface,
love is just keeping up with it, keeping up.