Impression: 20th Arrondissement

I was going through some old writing from when I was backpacking around Europe, and stumbled onto this, which I wrote on the penultimate day of my trip. I’m surprised how much I still like it, especially since it was done in haste, without much reflection, and probably too much wine. I remember my time in France as one of learning about Impressionism, reading Apollinaire and Sartre, and trying new cheeses every day, among other things. Je t’aime, France.


 

Impression: 20th Arrondissement

 

Vienne la nuit sonne l’heure

Les jours s’en vont je demeure

Apollinaire

 

Old flat on the 6th floor over Ménilmontant,

In the gray blanket of August, I, a flâneur,

Retired there to the opiate of coffee

And careless snowfall of cigarette ash,

A palate for the sensations.

Continue reading “Impression: 20th Arrondissement”

“The Price of Aluminum” Published at The American Journal of Poetry!

Hi All!

My poem “The Price of Aluminum” is up at The American Journal of Poetry! You can read it here (but beware, it’s lengthy). The poem was a series of studies I did while I was researching the history of aluminum manufacture.

It’s too easy to take for granted something so ubiquitous and ready-to-hand as aluminum. Understanding its history, the discovery, little by little, of its properties, sometimes on purpose, sometimes not, and the evolution of its manufacture, its economies, all of it is astounding and rich with drama.

Anyways, check it out and also check out The American Journal of Poetry. They have lots of great poetry to read.

Robert

An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump

I’ve been obsessed with this painting by Joseph Wright of Derby (1734-97) for the last few weeks. I love the use of chiaroscuro in general, and I love how Wright has used it to deify the scientific experiment. I’ve also been reading Boynton’s Beginnings of Modern Science, a collection of the early letters and essays showing the development of major scientific fields of study. I am always in awe of our curiosity and ingenuity as a species.

This poem is also dedicated to Artschaft, whose excellent art criticism has exposed me to lots of new art and artists. I encourage you to have a look at her work.


 

An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump

 

And Boyle said let there be the element

primitive and perfectly unmingled body

made of no others nor of each other mixt

of one and only one kind making all things.

Continue reading “An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump”