Posts Tagged ‘experiment’

Slowly Learning




Most days I wake with hope,

which is to say a willingness

to keep trying. Just tonight

I read the study about rats

where they put them in glass jars

full of water. Most of them quickly

stopped swimming and drowned,

even the wild rats renowned

for being good swimmers.

But with the next round of rats,

the researcher from time to time

would put his hand in the jar

and lift the rats out. Just knowing

such a lift were possible was enough

to make the rats continue to swim

and they survived. And I wonder,

then, whose hand is lifting me these days,

reaching just often enough into my jar?

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Strange Answers

In this experiment,
longing is the constant
and the independent variable
is a many purple petalled thing
and the dependent variable
is song. No. That’s not it.
Perhaps the constant
is blue. And the independent
variable has something to do
with rain, and the dependent variable
is this terrible pain in my leg.
God, I could beg. I will beg,
just make the pain
go away and let the constant be
something more like
the way the sun caught
in the clouds this morning,
which is to say something
not at all constant, not
one bit controlled. This
is the proof, I suppose,
of nothing, the way
it shifts, the way
it constantly changes everything,
even the woman
conducting experiments,
writing conclusions
in chalk on the pavement,
laughing in great waves
as the independent
rain starts again to fall.

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