A poem a day in April from Rutgers English PhD students and friends.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

For 20 Mexican Pesos

I have promised to write a poem
about the Flux Capacitor. I am not so poor
that I must pander to the masses all the time,
but neither have I no respect for the market,
a force which, like the thrust
of the Flux Capacitor, must carry us
with it into time and maybe space
but mostly time. Please note my double negative.
I don't have no respect, I tell you,
which means I do have some respect,
but I have put it into terms a shark
might understand while traveling through time--
a Time Shark, if you will, who travels
not only time but oceans. Not only
oceans but time. All this talk of time
must have you thinking once again
about the Flux Capacitor. I wish
I could tell you the Capacitor came standard
on Deloreans, but that's an urban myth.
Just check out Snopes. The only cool thing
about a Delorean is that it has that funny door
and maybe gleams, and maybe has
kind of a gentle tiny indent in the seat
that's shaped like Alex Keaton.
So where's the Flux? you ask.
Not in that classic car. Not in a shark.
Where can I find it? Only in this poem,
and on TV, and in your heart
and in the beating heart of every boy
who's over 30, under 41? And in a scientist
taller than you, with crazy hair;
if you should ever meet one in the street
be gentle, show him high-school photographs
of both your parents, write him retrospective notes
& you'll jump-start the Flux Capacitor
that throbs also forever in his heart,
his huge old-fashioned Edison-shaped heart.
And also maybe also in a shark
but only in a shark who moves through time.

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