POETRY ON THE BOOKSHELF
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:
An early peek at each new issue, with descriptions of feature articles, columns, and more. Issues contain links to everything in the latest issue's table of contents.News of book reviews published in American Scientist and around the web, as well as other noteworthy happenings in the world of science books.
To sign up for automatic emails of the American Scientist Update and Scientists' Nightstand issues, create an online profile, then sign up in the My AmSci area.
Receive notification when new content is posted from the entire website, or choose from the customized feeds available.
JSTOR, the online academic archive, contains complete back issues of American Scientist from 1913 (known then as the Sigma Xi Quarterly) through 2005.
The table of contents for each issue is freely available to all users; those with institutional access can read each complete issue.
View the full collection here.