He Makes Rockets

How odd – to be
a scientist, a finder of clues,
a see-er of patterns, a creator,

an inventor, working for War.
We need to kill civilians, far
away, without warning.

Can you do it?  Can you build us
a rocket?  Copy Goddard.
How was your day, darling?

Oh, not bad.  We sorted out the
heat issue, now if we can only
get the guidance system to

work.  Day after day, working
on the puzzle, building little
worlds, little machines,

little works of art, little music
boxes.  And then the big day,
when the first rocket is

launched, and it smashes into
a poor London neighborhood,
a sleek new delivery system

hauling its freight of fear and
death.  Slaps on the back.  He
takes his wife out to dinner and

splurges on champagne.
Back to work on Monday.
Well, yes, that was impressive, but

we’re behind schedule, and we
need it to be more terrible, more

Daydreaming at his drawing
board, silver swallows dropping
on a nest of mice.

Just that morning his
boy had asked him what he
does at work. I design things.

Music boxes he had said.
Mechanical birds.  Fireworks.
I’m building the future.


String Theory

Thousands of lives are being
spent trying to construct an
Explanation of Everything, six

extra dimensions, parallel universes,
the whole overloaded wagon held
together with tiny bits of string.


Why not tiny jacks, or tiny crescent
wrenches or tiny dandelions, or tiny
charm bracelets, or tiny umbrellas, or

tiny teacups, or tiny disco balls, or
tiny rubber bands, paper clips?
Our Universe is as it is because of

tiny hoops of twine?  This
is what you get from too much
coffee and a ‘what if’ –

When my friends and I considered
such possibilities behind the
cafeteria with a nickel bag of

lame weed, it did not occur
to us that we were budding physicists;
we were burnouts
trying to get comfortable with


%d bloggers like this: