Saturday, December 17, 2005

A couple

of recent posts at chris murray's tex files, one on Andre Breton & one on Max Planck & the language of Quantum Mechanics, combined to prompt my memory of the poem at the bottom of this post, originally published in Blackmail Press #4, June, 2002.

I also received an email earlier on this year about the poem, part of which read:
"MoRST stands for the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology, which advises the (New Zealand) Government on policy issues across the science world.

The Ministry has recently refurbished its offices in the Reserve Bank Building at number 2, The Terrace, Wellington. A part of this refurbishment was the creation of five large meeting rooms, as the Ministry frequently hosts forums and workshops on science and research topics.

In seeking to find a name for each of these rooms, we have had a small team of staff sharing their favourite poems that use scientific terms and imagery. One of these is your poem Scar Tissue. We would like to display the poem, in full and as published, in one of the rooms and have selected the words NEUTRON FLUX, from the poem, as the room name. The door plate would state the name of the room and acknowledge the poem and you as the author."
Unfortunately, I think the idea might have died, because I've heard no more about it apart from the fact that a couple of the authors were being difficult about granting permission. A pity.

Scar Tissue

We cannot leave emptiness alone,
even a space so small
it is beyond most common definitions.

Who knows the provocation for such
actions. Start large, & there’s
certainly ancestral memories —
agoraphobia controlled by
inventing animism, filling in the gaps
by ascribing godhood to everything
in sight & gods to everything beyond.
Start small, learning as schoolchildren
by seeing blood or pond water under
a microscope display such levels of
intricacy that we automatically allocate
to all such spaces, even those we
cannot see, an infinite number
of inhabitants. It used to be a metaphysical
conundrum, determining how many angels
danced on the point of a needle. Now
it’s called neutron flux & though we have
invented machines to measure it, still use
the language of Dada for description.

Phonoms, leptons, quarks & quasars —
these words were all originally Tzara’s.

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