Vibration of a Single Degree

When a system is given
an initial input of velocity,

it will vibrate freely
upon release. The ground

will undergo occasional
displacement. In running,

we invite earthquakes
with periodic force. In leaving,

the engine drives
with rising speeds.

In real systems, energy
dissipates. The system damps,

often unnoticeably. When friction
ends, the memories displace,

and your face becomes
a jumbled mess of cables,

of mouths in wired eyes
so tangled by the heart.

 

(originally published in The Magnolia Review, Fall 2017)

Simple Machines

Force plus distance creates the want.
Machines make work easier to do:

pick up the phone and call her.
A sloped surface can move the heart

from one peak to another by decreasing
exerted force per beat while increasing

the distance over which the want
can travel– a simpler way to have

without the work of wanting.

 

(originally published in Randomly Accessed Poetics, Spring 2017)

Infinite Strings

It was Maxwell
who asked
if algebra
can be extended.
My theory is
it is possible
if we are infinite
strings of numbers,
if an unknown
number
of remaining days
is what
makes us immortal.
With him
gone,
I recite
as many
digits
of pi
as I can
just to feel
my tongue
flicker again–
does the universe
confuse numbers
with the heart’s
density, or
sparsity?
The night sky’s
violins
sing arias
for minor
constellations
that connect
to never-
ending strings
of
days–

 

(originally published in Columbia College Literary Review, Spring 2017)

f(x)=4x+2

f(x)=4x+2

I.

The function is linear. With
each increase of a second, the
distance traveled moves west, inward,
west, a water bottle jammed
beneath the brake pedal, radio
static, velocity dependent on
time, a subset of timing and luck,
on your face embraced
in a cradle on my chest,
heartbreathing,
the raft-like rhythms never
let me sleep, never being

II.

Independent variables,
seconds (x),
muted starlings
struck with the affecting
distance per second, the moon an eggdrop
removed from home, gentle snores,
initial velocity of two meant for two,
the intercept x or y, meaningless
letters to write you, no matter
the slope increasing, decreasing:
always feels like falling
when I stop

 

(published by Columbia College Literary Review, Issue 03, April 2014)