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The BlueIris Semi-Nightly Poetry Break, 7/19/08

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BlueIris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-19-08 11:25 AM
Original message
The BlueIris Semi-Nightly Poetry Break, 7/19/08
"Louis Slotin Assembles the Plutonium Implosion Core for the Trinity Test, July 1945"
At first, the actual assembly was about
as riveting as watching someone bake
a birthday cake or write a book. I did
the whole thing sitting down. And yet
the smallest details of the scene
seem luminous in memory. The tabletop
was masked with long brown sheets of butcher paper
strewn with the gadget's odds and ends.
They gleamed like gold-and nickel-plated
grapefruit halves. It felt as though I moved
in thickened light. Each gesture slow, precise,
painstaking, and intense.
My focus narrowed to the metal parts
arrayed before me. One by one,
I moved them into place. A small sphere
of beryllium was first, cupped like an egg
between two hemispheres of hollowed-out
plutonium, womb-shaped, as warm as flesh
from random fissions. Then the curved leaves of
plum-colored tamper. Each part knew its place.
Between my hands, I felt a world take shape.
The Geiger counter clicked. My palms grew slick.
I felt my fingers slowly growing numb,
gripping the heavy chunks, more dense than gold.
I shifted my grip abruptly.
Everybody jumped. My back ached.
Were my fingers freezing or on fire?
I tried to blink away the sparks
from my exhausted retinas. I leaned
close to the sphere, but suddenly it shrank
to a speck far out of reach. Or had it swelled
to planet size? Huge, jagged mountains thrust
toward me, and yet so small it seemed
a single pinpoint stabbed my fingertips.
I felt myself begin to fall. I closed
my eyes. My stomach lurched.
The taste of rotten lemons stained my tongue.
Surely, somehow, the core went critical.
A blue glow filled the air: The radiation
ionized the aqueous humor of my eyes.
Now I would die.
Then Serber spoke. "Louis,
are you all right?" He touched my shoulder. My eyes
were wet. I opened them. In my clenched hands
was the completed core. It seemed that I
was not among the ones about to die.

John Canaday


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BlueIris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-19-08 11:27 AM
Response to Original message
1. Wiki link about Slotin for those who don't care to Google.
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CaliforniaPeggy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-19-08 11:41 AM
Response to Original message
2. My dear BlueIris...
Oh wow...

It starts like prose poetry...

But when the poetic part hits, then it's amazing!

I can see it happening...

Really powerful and beautiful!

Thank you for this...

:hug:
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BlueIris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-19-08 11:58 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. Ms. C-Peg!
Yeah, this one is beautiful, even though it is depicting a gory, horrific event. I can't say that about all of the poems I've posted which attempt anything similar. Writing about horrors with language that could still be considered aesthetically pleasing is a tough business.
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ThomCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-19-08 11:56 AM
Response to Original message
3. Even horrors can be beautiful.
It's one of the most disturbing things about art and our human perspective of aesthetics. No scene is so grotesque, no person is so evil, no object contains enough raw destruction to be beyond our ability to make it fascinating. :(
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BlueIris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-19-08 11:58 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. Another quotable post from ThomCat. nt
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ThomCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-19-08 12:01 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Really? I wish I was so quotable when I try.
:P

I don't usually post much on days like today. I'm usually worried about not making sense. Today kind of sucks. :shrug: But I'm too lethargic to not post, if that makes sense.
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RetroLounge Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-19-08 12:14 PM
Response to Original message
7. Wow.
Now that's a great example of a dramatic monologue poem.

thanks!

:hi:

RL
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BlueIris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-19-08 08:30 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Isn't it excellent?
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