Queer Science: free verse by @jackaurquhart

©2014 by Jack A. Urquhart????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Do you know Einstein’s Law
of Photoelectric Effect—
how electrons can lose
their metallic bonds,
become sub-atomic emissions,
spun solo into space?
Well, neither do I.  Not really.
Only layman’s knowledge.

Just enough to speculate,
to guess how P.E. might explain
the way it was with us:
how I couldn’t keep a “natural” orbit,
couldn’t defy nature
(much less Einstein!)
to keep metal-mighty and mated
to you.

Ironic, don’t you agree—
the alchemy of attraction?
How all that’s required
is a bundle of bright.
How a tiny photon
shed just right,
can break the mettle
of a man.

That is the thing
I can’t get past:
how Albert got us right,
how it was light
that parted us
just enough of it
to shatter ironclad bonds,
send electrons reeling.

Quite the matriculation, that—
to be so suddenly freed,
thinking how alone I’d be,
thinking how unlikely:
the queer science
of like attracting like.
But then I never was any good
at chemistry.

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About jaurquhart

Jack Andrew Urquhart was born in the American South. Following undergraduate work at the University of Florida, Gainesville, he taught in Florida's public schools. He earned a Master of Arts degree in English, Creative Writing, from the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he was the winner of the Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Award for Fiction (1991). His work has appeared online at Clapboard House Literary Journal, Crazyhorse Literary Journal, and Standards: The International Journal of Multicultural Studies. He is the author of So They Say, a collection of self-contained, inter-connected stories and the short story, They Say You Can Stop Yourself Breathing. Formerly a writing instructor at the University of Colorado’s Writing Program, Mr. Urquhart was, until 2010, a senior analyst for the Judicial Branch of California. He resides in southern California.
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2 Responses to Queer Science: free verse by @jackaurquhart

  1. rlboyington says:

    Sheer alchemy! Delightful, enlightened. Telling.
    Thank you for this gem.

  2. Another great poem, Jack! You’re on a roll – keep it up! I love the subtle, metaphorical suggestiveness of it.

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