With the Speed of an Impulse: Parabolic Poem by Devon Balwit03 Dec 2016, Posted by Poetry in
About the Author:
Devon Balwit is a poet and educator from Portland, Oregon. She has a chapbook, Forms Most Marvelous, forthcoming from dancing girl press (summer 2017). Her recent poems have appeared in numerous print/on-line journals, among them: Oyez, Red Paint Hill, The Ekphrastic Review, Unlikely Stories Mark V, Timberline Review, It Must Be Heartbreaking, The Journal of Applied Poetics, Vanilla Sex Magazine, Anti-Heroin Chic, The Rising Phoenix Review, Rattle, and Rat’s Ass Review.
Balwit’s poem “With the Speed of Impulse: Parabolic Poem ( x²+1 )” is recognized as “Poem of the Week” for the debut issue of Abstract.
Watching the Block Chain
When bored, I watch the block chain, mutating by the second,
generating wealth for those smarter than I, transactions falling
and falling in permutation, 208 = an addition on a house,
80 = a year at Harvard, .26 = what I could afford were I not
such a late adopter. On YouTube, a miner explains how it’s
done—Download this program, click this, this, bundle, verify,
select, solve—Is hashtag < the target value? Yes? Then golden
invisibility grows and wallets fatten. The system polices itself,
nodes alert, production slowing or speeding with the number of
miners. What if poetry were currency? Why not? Portable,
untraceable, its proof of work is equally difficult (costly + time
consuming). Within it, transgressions can easily hide. Pimps,
drug lords, gun runners, geeks, the tax averse, could all buy in.
Of course, no one is buying. What poets generate from our dark
web remains unmonetizable, baffling, stubbornly our own.
With the Speed of Impulse: Parabolic Poem ( x²+1 )
The day’s events jostle to the fore as
I mull the now. Not
drown out the whisper
of thought, shoving me onward, insistent.
I have said it. I cannot call it back.
All I can do is
tough. Who hasn’t roused
a snarling troll, stepped in shit and survived.
Like me, I will like you, creating a
fragile web, bridging
back and forth, baskets
balanced on our heads, without looking down.
Even as I hit send, I know my post
will be buried. I
yet my voice, wearing
my stamp, deserves its small (sinking) platform.
A migraine’s aura/swallows an eye/from a face/
into gapless, absent/folds of unseeing.
(from Phantoms by John Tipton)
Worried by phantom
jigs of flashing light,
an electric static dappling, to me,
Tipton’s words flare prophetic,
a verse Jeremiad, as if
the universe’s own eye
pinned me with peeled lid.
Having begotten me,
Chronos grinds away,
severing joints, and now,
retina and nerve, cutting
brain from the world.
Once its cave mouth rubbles,
only my shadow will dance.
No Impact Man
“When someone called me a hero, I wanted to prove them right.
When someone called me a devil, I wanted to prove them wrong,” Colin Beavan
In the dream, I batter glass while on the other side
conversations continue. A flag writhing on a pole
shreds a shadow ever crazier. From the keyboard
between K and L, questing palps emerge, forcing
all communication to the left hand—bereft, sweat,
creed, graft, braggart, exact—a message clear as
clear for those with ears to hear. I rehearse my
own death, practicing muteness surreptitiously
like picking at imperfections in the skin. To come
away with crust, with the pus at the center, satisfies
even though tomorrow, I will rise angry. I must run
a blade through fire, lance and sear. Then when I am
lost, I can find me, the names they call me clattering
like gravel against sheet metal. Each night, I gather
grit in a bucket and set its weight against my sternum.
Come morning, the bucket is always empty.