Monday Poem

“Black holes, Big Bang, Bada Bing, quantum space, worm holes, the Theory of Strings; space is a smorgasbord of metaphors of things.” –Roshi Bob, The Theory of Theories and Other Anomalies; Bench Press, 2011

Fun in Space
Call me nomad, but
rootlessness is my routine

From where I stand
space seems to beg for exploration
not occupation. Occupation of space
requires a military state of mind
Armies are trained for it. Individuals however,
grow dull and lethargic just occupying space

There’s no substitute for dynamism
when facing space

When I stumble upon a new chunk
I like to engage it many times over
laying out alternate trajectories
bisecting circles
flying off on tangents
or just nosing around looking for

If the wind’s right you might catch me
boogalooing along an hypotenuse
or oscillating between the foci of an ellipse
I go at it from all angles by any means

For example I’ve found a trampoline’s
a satisfying way to explore space:
up, down, up, down
Along similar lines (if you have the money)
a space shuttle is good too:
up, down, up, down

There are various ways to approach space
We can grid it off and tackle it one little corner at a time
or go at it whole, working it as Jackson Pollock would a canvas
What we choose depends upon our depth of indoctrination
or degree of personality disorder

Whatever our milieu, space can be an exhilarating place
–or is it places?

In fact space is full of surprises
(moving beyond bland Euclidean space that is;
the plainest of all geometries)
Still, you gotta hand it to the guy
Euclid’s space may be old hat,
but it’s a space that’s served us well over the years
Try getting from here to there without it

But what really psyches me
are novel topologies of space
There’s nothing more exhilarating
then space that pushes the envelope

Consider the quirky but tasty appeal of a torus
(the deep-fried cuisine of crime-stoppers),
the intriguing infinity of a Möbius strip,
or the warm and cozy feel
inside a conversation-laced pub
These are boundary-pushing spaces all, but
they’re nothing
up against the reality-bending possibilities
of warped space as given by Einstein
and can’t hold a candle
to the almost mystically
tangled theory of strings

Just the thought of Einsteinian or string space
neutralizes any residual sense of metaphysical claustrophobia
left over from grade-school catechism
under hard nuns

Me? I never miss the chance to savor space
With six point eight billion of us on the planet,
at our present rate of consumption,
you never know when
we might run out

by Jim Culleny
June 2007