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Johnnie Woods Aug 2018
There are five widely known senses.
Sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste.
We've got some minor ones as well, such as balance, temperature and many more.
However, people fail to realise that there's also the sixth major sense. Thoughts themselves.

   If we look closely, all these five senses have the same base. Specified cells in eye react to energy of light, cells of ear recieve energy in form of air's vibrations, skin cells pick up energy of mechanical changes, and so tasting and hearing depend on translation of certain substances' chemical energy.
   These cells in different organs differ in their structure and the way they appear, however, if we stop looking at them in such small scale, we can see that ALL of the cells or organs responsible for any sense translate the energy.
   So, a light enters the eye, certain wavelenght of certain energy stimulates the eye's rod or cone cells with a certain intensity. Then the energy of light is translated to energy of electrical impulse, which goes straight to the brain, creating the sensation of sight.
   If it comes to smell, a certain particle enters the nose, binds to a smell receptor cell, and the chemical energy of this particle is, again, translated to energy of electrical impulse, which goes straight to the brain, creating the sensation of smell.

   Now, let's move to the crucial part. The sense of thoughts.
   During the creation of thought, pathways in our brain that collect memories(and many more known or unknown pathways) connect. First, there's this spark of electricity, that moves all along the neuron and releases a dose of neurotransmitters(amount of different NTs is equiavlent to strength of this spark, basically resulting in "creating" various thoughts).
Then, chemical energy of NEUROTRANSMITTER is translated to energy of electrical impulse, which happens in the brain, creating the sensation of thought.
   Therefore the 'sense of thoughts' reacts to and is stimulated by neurotransmitters themselves, with receptors on neurons' membrane being receptors of the stimulus. So, kind of like smell, the stimulus is chemical, compared to sight, where it's electromagnetic wave; anyways the result in all of these is electric impulse in neurons (hence the idea of "thoughts" as a sense, due to the same basic layout; transfer of energy).
   The 'smell particle' connects to receptor and is translated to a certain amount of neurotransmitters/certain strenght of neuronal impulse. SO, again, we can see that when the first outer layer of this communication is cut off, we're left only with the neurotransmitters and impulses themselves. Anyway, the transduction of energy remains.

   If it comes to "sense of thoughts" the receptor lies within us, whereas in sight or smell or touch it's external. However, does it matter if it's on the surface of skin or under it if it all comes down to neurons of our brain?
   When you lie in a dark, silent room, without any external stimuli, you still retain your thoughts, colorful, vivid or complex. All the magic of the brain - still happens. So, how isn't it a separate, full-fledged sense?
matt d mattson Aug 2013
When I saw her
The first woman with the first wide eyes
Bright and light and dark and deep
With life and mystery
My heart beat like the first hand struck the first drum
And the first song was sung
In dark caves of ten times ten thousand years ago

When I first breathed that first scent
My sight stopped
My mind stopped
My mind was my body and my hands and my gut
And my legs extending to the ground and the earth and time
And it slowed down like an ice age beginning
Then it melted into warm fire
Where it burned

The first touch of the first woman
Was electrical chemical radioactive bliss
Every piece of matter in me wanted to move and dance and shake and fly apart
The spark from the start of her heart beat
Crossed through the fibers and
Traveled down the pathways of her body
Down the chemical electric synapses
Through her arm and jumped across to my hand
And traveled up and started a new beat
It was a faster, and stronger beat
And it beat
And it beat
Like the first dance,
Shook with the slap and smack of ground and hands and feet

Oh the first woman was all women
And then there were other women
And they were people
Flesh and blood
And minds and thoughts
And feelings that I could not feel
Good and bad and indifferent
With hangups and problems
Blemishes and baggage
I met women coming
Women going
Here and there
Now and then
For coffee, for beer,
One evening or ten
I met scientists, nurses
bartenders and baristas.
Living lives I didn't mind
Giving time when it was mine
Asking for things I couldn't find

Then I saw You
All of you
In time and space and speed

I caught the scent of you
Your fragrance and perfume
And the primal musk of you
That fatal lusts allure

I felt you
The gravity of your body from across the room
Your electro-magnetic force pulling
Pressure of the displaced particles pushing
As you walked so slowly towards me

And time stopped
Light and sound and movement were captured
Captive to your hypnotic sway
Prisoner to your power over my perception
You moved through the still air
And it swept aside like a curtain as you passed
The world was quiet

And then it pounded  
The pressure of it filled the air and everything around it
As you moved closer,
Like ride of the Valkyries
Rising and crashing in waves
It rose as you moved towards me
You carried it in your wake
And then it was a crescendo
A vast overpowering transcendent orchestral cacophony
Of immense intense sound and light and energy erupting
Cymbals crashed and horns blew and strings snapped under the pressure of the vibrations
Brilliant fireworks exploded in the black sky of your brown eyes
As you stopped a few feet from me

And time was stopped
You were the first woman
You were all women
You are
The only woman
Shelby Murray Aug 2013
He walks outside to watch as veins of electrical light sizzle in the night sky.
The rain strikes against the pavement. The water on the road slides by.
The man stands tall, his shoulder aching from his previous operation.
He looks at the blank, dark mauve sky with a frown on his face from the whole situation.
His wife sits in the kitchen, crossword in hand and letting the news play like white noise around her.
Their children, all in bed; all of them unaware of the storm parading outside or of one another.
Three out of the four are asleep while one records these events, sleep stinging her eyes.
She should sleep for her dreams take her away from the darkened skies.
But for now she will be hypnotized by the veins of light illuminating her night.
She'll watch the light pour through her window until her eyelids are too dreary for her to keep sight.
So goodnight, goodnight, goodnight
Ashley Chapman Oct 2017
Feel empty in your post apocalyptic City of Angels,
Where not even your pets are real!
An electric android, a sheep or a frog,
The whir-flutter of micro-electrical wings of a butterfly.

Good, and so you ought.

Now grab the handles of your empathy box,
And in a shared virtual hallucination –
Feel: empathy, depression, pain, delusion and despair,
The outré myriad gifts of consciousness.

Millions of discombobulated and disconnected wrecks:
Adam's sons; Eve's daughters,
And among them simulations too,
Fakes! androids!
A phony circuit of semi-conscious memories,
A hive of neural malaise!
Welcome to our world; know how dead, inside, I feel.

You, yes, you:

Need a pet to make you more complete?
Maybe you can afford
A Fake Fakir Flake like me who looks like Jude Law,
Sounds like Richard Burton,
And silently romances you like Rudolph Valentino.
Come and stick what’s left of your mind in here,
In hair, hear her: har, har, har…

A box of lies...

A voice, Mercer's,
With texture from an age you neither lived in nor dared in:
Al Jerry's, a TV actor,
Droning on in pre-selected tones.

The real thing, the men, the women, their animals,
Made in the wild, wild desert, in the green pulsing savannah,
On the open crusted sea; now too, washed, choked, and drained,
Too many spliced and diced mutations,
Iterating your image:
The thing that was my heart, My Child, now its imitation.
This comes from my fascination with Philip K. **** and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. In this, his future dystopian vision, androids are retired, a euphemism for terminated, when they have passed their legal age limit after four years. Humans, us, have by now ruined our environment and become enthralled to a false religion, Mercerism , a fabricated make belief, spun by an actor, Al Jerry. The empathy boxes plunge the followers of Mercerism into a shared virtual hallucination. I was also enthralled by Jude Law in AI by Steven Spielberg who gave what I thought was a mesmerising portrait of a *** robot, the ultimate Lothario and so tragically programmed to flaw.

Earlier this year Mercerism was the theme of The Tunnel, an art collective to which I am a participator, through poetry.

Blade Runner, the film, now Blade Runner 49, is based on this dark interpretation of where we could all be headed.
ˏˋDalPalˊˎ Apr 2017
The other day I stuck my finger in the electrical socket, just to get one ounce of the spark you gave me with your touch. My finger tingled for an hour but it didn't give me my fix.

This morning I cried so hard that my room became the sea. I sailed away on my bed and promised to never go back to the person I was yesterday.

Last week I snuck up a building downtown just to have the feeling for a split second that I had made it to the top. I laid on my back and tried to grab the stars; "the most beautiful things just out of reach" you told me once.

This afternoon I went on a drive to clear my mind. On accident I turned in the wrong direction, but I wasn't apposed of going all around the world to get to where I was going.

Last month I threw out everything in my room hoping that clearing it would also clear my mind. I found the card you gave me years ago and slipped it under my bed. I obviously missed the purpose.

Tonight I sat outside the loneliest gas station in the world. I watched the flourescent lights flicker on and off. I figured it was counting the seconds it took for me to realize that you're not with me this time to walk out with two slushy's and a deep breath saying "you're going to be somebody".

Last year you told me that you loved me. I felt my heart fill up with every single butterfly on earth. Even when I felt my emotions could bend the universe, I didn't say it back.

Right now I'm sitting at our bench on Main st. Every car that passes by I think "that could be the person to put my pieces back together" after you broke me. I came to the conclusion that maybe the  only person to fix me is myself.
just a set of short little poems. my heart is feeling very heavy today which i guess is good because now I'm back here but I was hoping to not feel like this again... I wish I could just move on from everyone that did me wrong. while most of this is fictitious, it is true that i am not moved on, and you are. i am a little broken and i cannot keep thinking about you if i want to fully move on. A lot of my poems have always been about you but I don't want you to be my sad motivation anymore. this is the last poem I will write about you. ever.
RAJ NANDY Aug 2018
Dear Poet Friends, I conclude this series on The Enigma of Time by mentioning few important features about the concept of Time according to Modern Philosophy and Science. I have used a
simple format, and also tried my best to simplify the concepts for your kind appreciation. Unfortunately, there is no provision on this Poetry Site to show Diagrams to elucidate! If you like this one, kindly repost the same for wider circulation! Thank you, Raj Nandy, New Delhi.
            
       CONCLUDING THE ENIGMA OF TIME IN VERSE:
                      PART THREE – BY RAJ NANDY
              
              TIME ACCORDING TO MODERN PHILOSOPHY

UNREALITY Of TIME : Mc Taggart’s ‘A’ and ‘B’ Series:
Now skipping through the pages I come to Modern Philosophy, with Mc Taggart the British philosopher of the 20th Century.
He had acquired a substantial following with his 1908 paper on the ‘Unreality of Time’ initially.
With his quibbling argument he states, that moments in his ‘A’ Series of Time are either of past tense, present tense, or of future tense.
It is all about human perception, since we experience the past through our memories;
Become aware of the present through our senses, while future is pretty unknowable.
Here time appears to be flowing through us, as nothing remains stable around us!

In his ‘B’ Series of Time Mc Taggart expresses differences in moments of time as either Before or After,
Without using the tenses used in his ‘A’ Series of Time.
All parts in time can be expressed equally as points along a time line, in the absence of past, present, and future tense;
While here we appear to be flying through time in a metaphorical sense!
Thus in the ‘A series’ time appears to be flowing through us, but in ‘B series’ we seem to be flying through time on a timeline created by us!
Therefore, Mc Taggart finds both the ‘A’ and ‘B’ Series describing Time to be inadequate and also contradictory;
And he finally concludes that Time is unreal and does not exist in reality!

How Mc Taggart’s Theory Was  Updated :
Modern Philosophers have re-casted Mc Taggart’s theory in term of findings of Modern Physics.
His A-Theory is updated into ‘PRESENTISM’, which holds that only thing that is real is the ‘present moment’.
In ‘Presentism’ time has no past or future, and time has no duration either!
All things come into existence and drop out of existence, and past events no longer exist;
And since the future is undefined or merely potential, it too does not exist!

His B-theory is re-formulated into ‘ETERNALISM’ or the ‘Block Universe’, influenced by the later Theory of Relativity.
‘Eternalism’ holds that past events do exist even if we cannot immediately experience them, and future events also exists in a very real way.
The ‘flow of time’ we experience is just an illusion of consciousness.
Since in reality, time is always everywhere in an eternal sense!

Theory of Growing Block Universe:
It was proposed by the Englishman CD Broad in 1923, as an alternative to ‘Presentism’ where only the present exist;
And also as an alternative to ‘Eternalism’ where past, present, and future together also exist.
In ‘Growing Block Universe’ only the past and the present exist, but not the future.
Since the growing of the block happens in the present, with a very thin slice of space-time continuously coming into existence;  
Where consciousness as well as the flow of time are not active within the past,  
But they can occur only at the boundary of this ‘Growing Block Universe’!
Few scholars this concept did criticise, saying that in this theory the word ‘now’ can no longer be used to define Time!

But according to Einstein, this perception of ‘now’ that appears to move along a timeline, creating the illusion of ‘flow of time’, arises purely as a result of human consciousness;
And the way our brains are wired due to our evolutionary process, enabling us to deal with the world around us in a practical sense.
“People like us, who believe in Physics, know that the duration between the past, present, and the future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion,’’ said Einstein.

A poem on ‘The Paradox of Time’:
Now to lighten up my Reader’s mind, I present only the first three stanzas from ‘’The Paradox of Time’’, composed by the British poet Austin Dobson:
  “Time goes, you say? Ah no!
   Alas, Time stays, we go;
      Or else, were this not so,
  What need to chain the hours,
  For youth were always ours?

  Ours is the eye’s deceit
  Of men whose flying feet
     Lead through some landscape low;
  We pass, and think we see
  The earth’s fixed surface flee,
     Alas, time stays, we go!

  Once in the days of old
  Your locks were curling gold,
     And mine had shamed the crow.
  Now, in the self-same stage,
  We’ve reached the silver age,
  Time goes, you say? - ah no!
       Alas, time stays, we go!”
            
HOW LIGHT IS CONNECTED WITH THE CONCEPT OF TIME:
Brief Background:
I commence with quotes from the ‘Book of Genesis’ - Chapter One, along with my thoughts about Light and Time,
Before concluding this series with Albert Einstein’s concept of Space-Time.

“And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day. ……And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth. And it was so.”
                                                      - BOOK Of GENESIS Chapter One.

Since ancient days, Light had acquired a religious and a spiritual significance.
Since Light became associated with goodness, intelligence and ultimate realty;
Light accompanies transcendence into Nirvana of Buddhist religious philosophy.
In due course the Sun began to be worshipped as an important live-giving deity.
As seen in the symbolic form of Egyptian Sun God Ra, and the Greek gods Helios and Hyperion as the Sun god and god of Light respectively.
In Hindu mythology Surya is the Sun god, and Ushas the goddess of Light.
Huitzilopochti, both the Sun god and god of War of the Ancient Aztecs was kept pleased with human sacrifice!

SOME PROPERTIES OF LIGHT:
Plato, during the 5th Century BC said that God was unable to make the World eternal, so gave it Time,  - “as the moving image of eternity.”
While some seven hundred years later St. Augustine in his ‘Confessions’ said,
That when God created the universe out of darkness with light, “the world was also created with Time, and not in time.”
Thus along with light, time also began to flow, while our scientists discovered a connection between the speed of light and time, few centuries ago!
To understand this connection between light and time, we must first understand something about the properties of light.
Light is the visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum* which can be perceived by our human eye.         (See Notes Below)
As seen in the red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet colors of the Rainbow in the sky,
When water droplets acting like countless prisms break up white sunlight!
Now this electromagnetic spectrum also contains the ultra violet and infra red spectrum which our eyes cannot see.
But this entire electromagnetic spectrum contains Photons, which are discreet packets of zero mass less energy.
In a vacuum light photons travel at 186,000 miles for second, which Einstein declared as the cosmic speed limit, and as an universal constant.
When a photon strikes the eye, it is turned into electrical energy that is transmitted to the brain to form an image which we call sight.

NOTES : Gama-rays, X-rays, Ultraviolet lights, have shorter wave lengths & more energy than Visible light. But Infrared, Microwave, Radio waves, with larger wave lengths are less energetic than the Visible spectrum of light. Sir Isaac Newton using a prism had discovered the spectrum of visible light, & used the word ‘spectrum’ for the first time in his book ‘Optick’ in 1671.

EINSTEIN'S SPECIAL THEORY OF RELATIVITY 1905 :
In his Special Theory of Relativity of 1905, he stated that nothing can move faster than speed of light which is 186,000 miles per second.
This speed of light always remains the same, irrespective of its source and frame of reference.
Now the mass of an object would double if it travels at 90% of light’s speed.
But if the speed of light is reached, mass of an object would become infinite!
Since photons, the quantum particles that make up light have a zero mass, they move at the speed of light.
Even inside the World’s Largest Particle Collider (LDC), located near the French-Swiss Border,
Experiments are carried out only around 99.99% of Light’s speed, in accordance with the Laws of Physics.
Einstein had also shown mathematically that on reaching Light’s speed, Time will come to a standstill!
And should this Light’s speed be exceeded, then Time would start to travel backwards, which becomes a mind boggling concept!
Here we enter into the realm of science fiction, which has been described by HG Wells  in his popular novel ‘The Time Machine’.
But to become a time traveler shall always remain our cherished desire and dream!

NOTES: Only mass less particles like the photon can travel at light speed, photons experience no time, they do not age. Objects with mass cannot reach the speed of light since in that case its mass will become infinite. Also, one cannot see the fourth dimension because of Lorenz Contraction, which is also related to stopping of time, for at the speed of light an object will shrink to zero length! Also, particles interact with the Higgs' Field present all around to pick up mass, excepting photons which do not interact with this Higgs' Field.

Now Einstein’s theory of 1905 is called ‘Special’, because it explains how space and time are linked for objects that are moving in a straight line at a greater speed but which is constant.
Time moves relative to the observer, and objects in motion experience ‘Time Dilation’.
Meaning, time moves slowly when it is in motion, as compared to one who is standing still, -  a relative comparison.
This can be further explained by the ‘Twin Paradox’, where a 15 year old travelling in a spaceship at 99.5% speed of light for a period of 5 years,
Returns back to Earth to find himself to be only 20 years old.
But to his surprise he finds, his twin brother on Earth who was left behind, has reached the ripe age of 65 !

Limitations of Special Theory of Relativity:
It was confined to non-accelerating bodies only, and after ten years of deliberation,
Einstein added gravitational force field, space-time curvature, and acceleration, -
To formulate his General Theory of Relativity with satisfaction.

   SPACE-TIME & GENERAL THEORY OF RELATIVITY 1916 :
Isaac Newton during the 17th Century spoke about 'absolute time' and 'absolute space', accordance to the understanding of science of his Classical Age.
Space was the arena where the drama of the universe was played out, and this arena was passive, eternal, and unchanging no doubt.
Time too was absolute with an independent existence, and continued to beat independently like the heart beat of Space!
Newton also gave us the Laws of Motion, and Gravity, with more massive objects exerting more Gravity than a less massive one in reality.
Now one aspect of Special Relativity is that space and time are merged into a four-dimensional space-time entity,
They do not exist as separately as envisaged by Newton and Descartes during the 17th Century.
Some 250 years later Albert Einstein, defined Gravity as a curvature of Space-time.
Einstein also tells us that gravity can bend light, which travels along the curvature of this space-time.
Gravity is flexible, it could stretch like a fabric warping of space-time caused by objects present within it, in fact Gravity is the shape of space-time itself!
The Moon rolls around the curvature created in space-time fabric by the heavier object the Earth,
Just like the massive Sun which creates the depression and curvature around it for the planets of our solar system to orbit round the Sun. *

Einstein’s space-time has been likened to a stretched out vast rubber sheet,
Where heavier the planet, more depression it creates on the fabric of space-time along with its own gravitational field.
Einstein’s Space is not passive like that of Newton, but has a dynamic presence.
Interwoven with Time, Space tells Matter how to move, while Matter tells Space-Time how to curve - in this dynamic presence!
The constant speed of light at 186,000 miles per second, is just a measure of space of something which travels over time;
But both space and time had to adjust themselves to accommodate the constant speed of light!
Thus space, time, and the speed of light are all unified in the General Theory of Relativity,
We owe all this to Albert Einstein, one of the greatest scientists of our Century.
NOTES: **Planets orbiting the Sun do not fall back into the void of space due to the attraction of gravity, and also due to their individual speed of acceleration maintained in orbit as per Kepler's Second Law of Planetary Motion. Mercury has the fastest orbital speed of 48 km per second, Venus at 35 km per sec , and Earth at 30 km per sec. as their orbital speeds. Planets further from the Sun require lesser orbital speed.

UNFINISHED WORK OF EINSTEIN:
During his later years Einstein was secretly working to find a ‘Theory of Everything’,
Which would ultimately replace the erratic tiny micro world of Quantum Mechanics.
His Theory of General Relativity had dealt with the functions of gravity at the greater macro level of the universe only.
So he hoped to extend this theory to find an all embracing Unified Field Theory.
For at the subatomic quantum level, as the Englishman Thomson discovered in 1897,
The electrons inside an atom at times behaved in an alien fashion and were very unstable!
This world of the subatomic particles is a wondrous world where time becomes chaotic;
Where the position of the electrons cannot be predicted with certainty!
Einstein called this unpredictable and unstable behaviour of electrons as "spooky action at a distance"!
In the ‘double-split experiment’ it was seen, that the light photons behaved both like waves and as particles, -
Even though the speed of light remained constant.

EINSTEIN'S NOBLE PRIZE For PHYSICS AWARDED IN 1921:
Now despite Einstein's dissatisfaction with Quantum Mechanics it is rather ironical,
That the Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Einstein for his work on the ‘Photoelectric Effect’ at the Quantum level;
Which for the first time had suggested that Light travelled in Waves and also as Particles ( i.e. as photon)!
This observation led to the development of electron microscope, solar panels, night vision devices, at a later date.
Since his Special and General Theory of Relativity considered as ‘The Pillars of Modern Physics’, was still being examined by the Scientific Community;
And they could be proved and accepted only subsequently.

'STRING THEORY' PROPOSED AS THEORY FOR EVERYTHING:
During the 1970s the proponents of ‘String Theory’ had claimed, They found a Theory of Everything, following Einstein’s quest.
They claimed that micro vibrating open and closed looped strings gave rise to some 36 particles at the subatomic level;
But also required 10 dimensions for this 'String Theory' to operate!
In our Standard Model of Physics we have only 18 particles as on date, therefore due to lack of scientific evidence,
There was no Noble Prize for those ‘String Theory’ proponents!
Efforts are on to find a Unified Theory of Everything, and to understand the mysteries of God’s infinite universe, -
We finite humans have just made a beginning!

Now, to reduce the length of my composition I conclude with a short verse by the famous novelist and poet DH Lawrence, -
Who had shocked Victorian England with his explosive ****** novel “Lady Chatterley’s Lover”,
Which later inspired Hollywood, and a film got made.

               RELATIVITY
“I like relativity and quantum theories
because I don’t understand them,
and they make me feel as if space shifted about like
a swan that can’t settle,
refusing to sit still and be measured;
and as if the atom were an impulsive thing
always changing its mind.”  – DH Lawrence.

Thanks for reading patiently,
‘All Copy Rights Are With The Author Only’, - Raj Nandy of New Delhi.
Eric Babsy Sep 2018
From the life on earth we draw a current.
Electrical energy can pass right through us.
From opposing points we are bearing the weight.
Also from opposing sides we hate.
All we know comes from the current inside every living thing.
If we are damaged in some way do you know what hate that would bring?
All the seasons brought from different stances of the earth.
We should all appreciate every little nuance from birth.
How some things are treated is no laughing matter.
In fact what is matter but a fabric in time that does not seem significant enough to cater.
If we pay attention to all the earth current’s we have a better understanding.
We will have no more sorrow, grief, or misunderstanding.
We can save ourselves if you lend me your attention.
From the earth and water we have grown with no apprehension.
Although somehow we have let that slip through the cracks.
Now we must bear the weight of the world on our backs.
We all must stand together to save our home.
Without it we have no hope.
If we find another place, a distant world.
That would be great, but the same rules would soon unfurl.
So, we must understand what has made us on the inside to understand how to save the earth.
I hope I am not the only one whatever it is worth.
Electrical currents and other currents of the earth must be understood.
This is just me saying what I feel is right if you would.
Passing through time for anyone should set them at ease.
Just be on point and life is a breeze.
The world to a blind is dark
The pain to a senseless is void
Sound to a deaf is silence
Maybe all we see, hear, feel
is some imagination send to mind
as an electrical pulse on nerves.
Apollo Hayden Aug 2018
Everyday is a day to inspire
To light a flame so my words be the fire
igniting the wick deep within your soul
I could hold all of this in
but it'd feel like the worse sin
Having a spirit of self expression, how could I ever hold onto all this gold?
No one can put money on this, and what Yah bless no man curse
as long as my thoughts are high and these feet are planted upon the soil of mother's green earth
Hitting you with electrical nouns and verbs
Creating a chain reaction
Praying you receive these words, meditate on 'em and keep on passing
Spreading your fire to those in need
For I don't just write but breathe poetry
From today until the day I die
I'll be writing to your heart because I'm
forever on a poetic high
Zeeb Jul 2015
Hotrod
Verse I

Wrenches clanging, knuckles banging
A drop of blood the young man spilt
A new part here, and old part… there
A hotrod had been built!
A patchwork, mechanical, quilt

Feelings of excitement not unlike those of Christmas mornings long past paid visit to the young man, his head under a raised hood, hands occupied, the job nearing completion.  Did building that Lionel train-set so long ago form some type of pattern in his brain, now being so pleasurably served?  The good feelings would dissipate though, as quickly as they came, as he cursed himself for stripping a bolt, or cursed someone else for selling him the wrong part, or the engineer whose design goals obviously did not consider “remove and replace”.  He cursed the “gorilla” that never heard of a torque-wrench, the glowing particle of **** that popped on to the top of his head as he welded, the metal chip he flushed from his eye, and even himself for the burn he received by impatiently touching something too soon after grinding.  He, and his type, cursed a lot, but mostly to their selves as they battled-on with things oily, hot, bolted, welded, and rusty – in cramped spaces. One day it was choice words for an “easy-out” that broke off next to a broken drill bit that had broken off in a broken bolt, that was being drilled for an easy out.    Despite the swearing, the good and special feelings, feelings known only to those with a true capacity for this type of passion, would always return, generally of a magnitude that exceeded the physical pain and mental frustration of the day, by a large margin.   Certifiably obsessive, the young man continued to toil dutifully, soulfully, occasionally gleefully, sometimes even expertly, in his most loved and familiar place, his sanctuary, laboratory… the family garage.

And tomorrow would be the day.
Fire extinguisher? “ Right there”
Battery? “Charged and connected”
Neutral?  “yes”
Brake?  “Set”
And with hard learned, hard earned expertise and confidence, in this special small place, a supremely happy and excited young man commanded his creation to life.

Threw  a toggle, pressed a switch
Woke up the neighbors with that *******

The heart of his machine was a stroked Chevy engine that everyone had just grown sick hearing about.  Even the local machine shop to which the boy nervously entrusted his most prized possession had had enough.  “Sir, I don’t want to seem disrespectful, but from what I’ve read in Hot Rod Magazine, you might be suggesting a clearance too tight for forged pistons…” then it would be something else the next day.   One must always speak politely to the machinist, and even though he always had, the usual allotment of contradictions and arguments afforded to each customer had long run out – and although the shop owner took a special liking to the boy because, as he liked to say, “he reminds me of me”, well, that man was done too.  But in the end, the mill was dead-on.  Of course from the start, the shop knew it would be; that’s almost always the case; it’s how they stay in business - simply doing good work.  Bad shops fall out quickly, but this place had the look of times gone by.  Good times.  Old porcelain signs, here and there were to be found, all original to the shop and revered by the older workers in honored nostalgia.  The younger workers get it too; they can tell from the men they respect and learn from, there is something special about this past.  One sign advertises Carter Carburetors and the artwork depicts “three deuces”, model 97’s, sitting proudly atop a flathead engine, all speeding along in a red, open roadster.  Its occupants a blond haired boy with slight freckles (driver), and a brunette girl passenger, white blouse slightly unbuttoned,  both in the wind-blown cool, their excited expressions proclaim… "we are free!" (and all you need is a Carter, or three).

The seasoned old engine block the boy entrusted to the shop cost him $120-even from the bone yard.  Not a bad deal for a good block that had never had its first 0.030” overbore.  In the shop, it was cleaned, checked for cracks, measured and re-measured, inspected and re-inspected.  It was shaped and cut in a special way that would allow the stroker crankshaft, that was to be the special part of this build, to have all the clearance it would need.  The engine block was fitted with temporary stress plates that mimic the presence of cylinder heads,  then the cylinders were bored to “first oversize”,  providing fresh metal for new piston rings to work against.  New bearings were installed everywhere bearings are required.  Parts were smoothed here and there.  Some surfaces were roughened just so, to allow new parts to “work-into each other” when things are finally brought together.  All of this was done with a level of precision and attention far, far greater than the old “4- bolt” had ever received at the factory on its way to a life of labor in the ¾ ton work truck from which it came.  They called this painstaking dedication to precision measurement and fit, to hitting all specifications “on the mark”, “blueprinting”, and it would continue throughout the entire build of this engine.  The boy stayed  worried the whole time, but the shop had done it a million times.

After machining, the block was filled with new and strong parts that cost the young man everything he had.   Parts selected with the greatest of effort, decision, and debate.  “ You can compromise on paint”,” live with some rust”, he would say,  “wait for good tires”, “but never scrimp on the engine”.  Right on.  You get one shot at getting that right, and this proclamation demonstrated wisdom but also provided ample excuse for the rough and unfinished look of the rest of his machine.  But it was just a look, his car was, in fact, “right”.   And its power plant?  Well the machine shop had talked their customer into letting them do the final engine assembly - even cut their price to do it.  They were looking out for the boy.  The mill in its final form was the proper balance of performance and durability, and with its camshaft so carefully selected, the engine's “personality” was perfectly matched to the work at hand.   It would produce adequate torque in the low RPM range to get whole rig moving quickly, yet deliver enough horsepower at red-line to pile on the MPH, fast.  No longer a polite-natured workhorse, this engine, this engine is impatient now.  High compression, a rapid, choppy idle - it seems to be biting at the bit – to be released.  On command, it gulps its mixture and screams angrily, and often those standing around have a reflexive jump - the louder, the better - the more angry, the better.  If it hurts your ears, that’s a good feeling.  If its bark startles, that’s a good startle.  A cacophony?  No, the “music” of controlled explosions, capable of thrusting everything and everyone attached, forward, impolitely, on a rapid run to “red-line”, and it keeps pulling hard and delivering power while spinning fast because it is breathing right and proper and producing the power that thrills, and the only reason to shift gears is to preserve connecting rods, eager as the engine may be to rev further!

This is the addictive sound and feel that has appealed to a certain type of person since engines replaced horses, and why?  A surrogate voice for those who are otherwise quiet?  A visceral celebration of accomplishment?    Who cares.  Shift once, then again - speed quickly makes its appearance.  It appears as a loud, rushing wind and a visually striking, unnatural view of the surrounding scenery.  At some point, in the sane, it triggers a natural response - better slow down.    


He uncorked the headers, bought gasoline, dropped her in gear, tore off to the scene
Camaros and Mustangs, an old ‘55
Obediently lined-up, to get skinned alive!


Verse II (1st person)

I drove past the banner that said “Welcome race fans” took a new route, behind the grandstands
And through my chipped window, I thought I could see
Some of the racers were laughing at me

I guess rust and primer are not to their taste
But I put my bucks mister in the right place

I chugged/popped past cars that dealers had sold
Swung into a spot, next to something old

Emerging with interest from under his hood
My neighbor said two words, he said, “sounds good”

The ’55 I parked next to was “classic rodding” in its outward appearance.  The much overused “primer paint job” channeled “Two Lane Blacktop”.  The hood and front fenders a fiberglass clamshell, pinned affair.  Dice hanging from the mirror paid homage to days its driver never knew, but wished he had.  He removed them before he drove, always.

If you know how to peel the onion, secrets are revealed.  Wilwood brake calipers can be a dead giveaway. Someone needs serious stopping power - maybe.  Generally, owners who have sprung the bucks for this type gear let the calipers show off in bright red, to make a statement, and sometimes, these days, it’s just a fashion statement.  Now, expensive calipers, as eye candy, are all the rage.  What is true, however, is very few guys spend big money on brakes only to render them inglorious and seemingly common with a shot of silver paint from a rattle can, and the owner of this ’55 had done just that. 

Two things seem to be at play here.  One, he needs those heavy brakes because he’s fast, and two, hiding them fits his style.   Really, the message to be found in the silver paint, so cleverly applied to make your eyes simply slide across on their way to more interesting things, was “sleeper”.   And sleeper really means, he’s one of those guys with a score to settle - with everyone perhaps.   The list of “real parts” grew, if you knew where to look.  Something I had defacto permission to do since my rod was undergoing a similar scrutiny.  
“Stroked?”, I asked.  That’s something you can’t see from the outside. “ No”, the racer replied.  
“Hundred shot?”  (If engines have their language, so do the people who love them).   Despite the owner’s great efforts to conceal braided fuel and nitrous lines, electrical solenoids and switches, I spied his system.  The chunks of aluminum posing as ordinary spacers under his two carburetors were anything but.   “No”, was his one-word reply to my 100- shot question.  I tried again; “Your nitrous system, how much are you spraying?”  “Two hundred fifty” in two stages, he said.  That’s more like it, I thought, and I then figured, he too had budgeted well for the machine shop – if not, he was gambling in a game that if lost, would fly parts in all directions.   Based on the overall vibe of the scene, and the clean work on display, I believed his build was up to the punishment he planned.   I knew exactly what this tight-lipped guy was about, seeing someone very familiar in him as it were, and that made the “sounds good” complement I received upon my arrival all the more valuable.

The voice on the loudspeaker tells us we’re up.

Pre-staged, staged, then given the green
The line becomes blurred between man and machine

Bones become linkage
Muscle, spring
Fear, excitement

Time distorts ….
Color disappears …
Vision narrows…
Noise ---  becomes music
Speed, satisfaction

End
Lawrence Hall Sep 2018
How wonderful to live in Freeport, Maine
Where beautiful women and handsome men
In youth eternal rock their five-bar boots
And flannel shirts in happy, snowy scenes

Where laughter echoes through those forest glades
Forever free of electrical lines
Skunks burrowing under the cabin floor
And neighbors’ overflowing septic tanks

Oh, what a dreamy life for you and me
In Freeport, Zip Code 04033!


(Just having a little fun; everything I’ve bought from L.L. Bean’s catalogue is wonderful!  I’d love to live in the perfect New England scenes depicted in the catalogue. If you squint your eyes carefully you can see Bob Newhart’s inn on page…)
Your ‘umble scrivener’s site is:
Reactionarydrivel.blogspot.com.
It’s not at all reactionary, tho’ it might be drivel.
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