Pay no mind to the postdoc salting celery
or that row of Bunsen burners, beakers
flanking the karaoke bar.
Looks like your basic turnstile, up on blocks.
It’s not, in the way a contour line is not
Napoleon on the march.
At six o’clock: chevrons in reflective tape.
The minimax for our subject’s giddy-up
into bird’s nest soup.
I said flywheel. You vector from trouble here,
exit through inclement weather. Set theory
codifies free will.
We’ve placed betas in metros, in libraries,
in wonderlands and misty monasteries
purpled under guy-wires.
You have choices to make. So make them.
After each one—the thunk of a dynamo
with arms of chrome.
Matthew Tierney is the author most recently of the poetry collection The Hayflick Limit (Coach House Books, 2009). He has been published in journals and magazines across Canada. This poem is from his forthcoming collection, Probably Inevitable, which considers the science and philosophy of time. He lives in Toronto.
Connect With Us:
Happy Birthday to Alvin! August 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of Alvin, the submersible that has been so influential in ocean research, including the discovery of hydrothermal vents. In 2014, a retrofitted Alvin also took its first test cruise.
Heather Olins, a doctoral candidate at Harvard, studies microbial ecology at deep sea hydrothermal vents with the help of Alvin, and shares her personal tribute to the submersible on these landmark occasions.
To view all multimedia content, click "Latest Multimedia"!
A free daily summary of the latest news in scientific research. Each story is summarized concisely and linked directly to the original source for further reading.
An early peek at each new issue, with descriptions of feature articles, columns,
and more. Every other issue contains links to everything in the latest issue's table of contents.
News of book reviews published in
and around the web, as well as other noteworthy happenings in the world of science books.
To sign up for automatic emails of the
Update and Scientists' Nightstand issues, create an
online profile, then sign up in the
My AmSci area.