The machinery of the universe
The night sky hints
“The machinery of the universe…” was written when I was a teenager in high school. I was lying in bed, looking up at the ceiling — the lights were off — and it just popped into my head. I jumped up, turned my lamp on and grabbed some paper. When I finished I put the paper into a binder and slid it under my bed. It stayed there for years along with hundreds of horrible poems that followed. The first time it saw the light of day was when my community college accepted it for the literary magazine. They used it for the back cover.
My dad is an engineer. So is his brother and cousin (all of whom I am very close to). My cousin and close friend Rob is also an engineer. It seems like this first poem was a subconscious attempt to bridge artsy me to practical them.
In 1991 I went through a series of surgeries. It was a year of pain and rehab. Fourth of July that year found me in a hospital bed at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan. My Uncle George (my dad’s cousin, one of the engineers mentioned above) came to visit me at the hospital. I shared this poem with him and he wrote it on a scrap of paper and put it in his wallet. That meant a lot to me.