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Wake Up Gasping

by Angela Brett

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1.
First you see it, then you hear it, then you feel it. First you see it. The shuttle slipping up into the sky, The subtle disaffection in her eye. The blooming smoke that seems it's painted on, The lustful fire you can't believe is gone. Then you hear it. The solid rocket booster firing noise The falling out of love that's in her voice. A sound so loud it can destroy its very source The sound suppression system dissipates the force. Unsound depression wisdom yells it back to her, Resounding hate-you-toos destroying everything you were. Then you feel it. The shockwave that can shake your every cell. The rocketing heartache you'll never dispel. Explosive blast of air across the water from the pad She knows you're stuck down there, weighed down with everything you had, Feeling all the blame in lover's rush to be set free Searing in the flame trench in the crush of gravity. You see her thrust toward nothingness as shuttle engines burn. You hear the launch controllers saying "Negative Return" You feel your inner hollowness do nothing else but yearn.
2.
Down 01:49
I miss you all. I'm floating through the darkness now. I try to fall, not landing on my feet somehow. Every revolution complicates each try to solve. Never resolution vindicating my resolve. I miss you so very much. I miss the ground you're standing on. No purchase for a mental crutch. No solid ground for landing on. Darkness never leaves me, never stops its buzzing undertone. No-one hears my screaming; I am loved but I am all alone. I don't know how to come back to you. I orbit now with my back to you, pained to see the world I'll never touch. broken up with all I loved so much. I don't know how this can ever be OK again. I spacewalk now, a tether to delay the end I fear the sole solution is to cut. and every soul in Houston just says 'but…' But Commander, just hang on, and we will rescue you. We've no more tools, but we will send the best to you. We've been talking about it a long, long time. We'll get rocket man down, and without downtime. Well you get me down so very well that you'd Be getting me down with no effect on altitude. Put down the phone; I do not want to worry you. I'm all alone, no world to say I'm sorry to. I miss you all, I'm floating in the starlight now. No down to fall, I've floated up so far somehow.
3.
Bright lights? That's not what my life is like. Those lights blind me, and blind others to the real me. They say I'm a star, but it's not me that's shining; it's the glossy magazine covers, the coins in my purse, and the mask of glittery make-up that hides my face. I am in darkness. The only lights in my life were the friends that I had, but they can't see through the mask anymore. I'm alone, and I'm about to shoot the star
4.
You might think that we’re just doing science with a hadron collider so large, but we’ve built this electric alliance to give weight to our positive charge. Take researchers from every nation. Let the humans within them collide. We will find the grand unification when we see we’re all on the same side. And with ev’ry race, tongue and religion we’ll find how to give all the world mass. If we’d all interact just a smidgen with the openness through which we pass, we’d see life’s ups and downs become charming and strange, when we face them head on, and what’s more, seeking beauty and truth we can make a big change with small change from the purses of war. Take the light at the end of the tunnel, and ensure it goes all the way round, to illuminate more than the sun’ll, and enlighten with what we have found: When you’ve unresolved matters, understanding runs thin; you face too many forces to name. If you cut out the din, and put energy in, it turns out that we’re all just the same.
5.
If you pine for the mystery before Noah’s ark we’ve remade prehistory at Juratron Park. Come atoms, come molecules, See what you were back then. Come out for a frolic, you’ll spin unperturbed again. Those that wander can find on our Memory Lane walks they’re no longer confined to a group of three quarks. Before we were three we were free from our tether, and though we were free we were closer together. We loved antimatter, we were one, nigh elation to meet and to natter ’bout CP violation. So come to a place that’s more bright than the sun where we’d meet face to face ‘fore they lost and we won. Then back where you’re from, bound together by force, Go back to your com- pounds, to never divorce. We don’t all get on, talk is charged and polemical but each baryon has its place in a chemical. If protons complain then you reach in and tell ’em, in truth you all gain when you’re each in your element. You’re not vexed when you seek unified universe But you know you’re unique when divided, diverse. Make the world have this aim: make the world we’re in different. The more we’re the same, the more we’re indifferent.
6.
“If I have seen farther,” the scientist said, “it’s not because I am a giant. “Great minds of the past have helped me get ahead; it’s their shoulders on which I’m reliant.” “Now listen to me!” said the great on whose shoulder the first one was glad to have stood. “I’m quite short of stature, it’s just that I’m older and those before me were so good.” And sure enough, this one was perched on the neck of a giantist of great renown who balanced in turn on another; by heck! It’s little guys all the way down. And some were thought giants, and some were thought midgets and some were thought nothing at all, but each would insist, “Those below were no idjits. It’s them that have made me so tall.” And scrambling around them their fans would aspire, to see something not seen before by climbing the tower of dwarves, ever higher for glimpses, or footholds, or more. Most could not scale to the summit in time, before their peak fitness would end. Some found it tough and abandoned the climb while some would, with vigor, descend: Aware that such heights were so taxing to reach, they helped to lift people and hopes, inventing new ladders and platforms to teach, securing and showing the ropes. “They might not be giants, but they must go far and that journey isn’t for me. I’ll boost them through science, raise them and the bar and profit from what they will see.” So said the teacher while lifting a child on shoulders so humble and stressed. The youth saw a vista that had them beguiled and bounded straight up to the crest.
7.
The first, I landed right-side up, The next, I saved my skin. The third, I won at cat and mouse, The fourth, I dragged me in. The fifth, I wasn’t curious. The sixth, I wasn’t swung. The seventh, I escaped the bag. The eighth, I got your tongue. So of my deaths, I’ve sidestepped eight with guile and movements deft. And while I’m in a quantum state, I’ve still a half-life left.
8.
Dear Internet, My prescriptions have been filled, and I really do not want my blood pressure 'killed' if it means my blood’s not flowing ’cause my beating heart was stilled. Dear Internet, I’m a person like me; I am not a Doctor Who, or a colour or a tree, and regurgitated multi-choice is not psychology. Dear Internet, Radium was discovered by a mum, but it isn’t the parenthood that proves it’s not dumb, It’s this one weird trick called a Nobel Prize, and repeatable experiments on what to do with some. Dear Internet, As long as finite life’s a haz- ard, doing fifty things that you say everyone has (or must before they die) is nuts, to justify the thing that I identify as. Dear Internet, Your trick will not burn fat, and the reason the doctors will hate you for that is it’s useless at best, deadly at worst, but the dough that you make would cheer up Grumpy Cat. Dear Internet, I like Tim Berners-Lee too, but that ‘vague, but exciting’ wasn’t ‘OMG you MUST see this, and simply will not BELIEVE the AMAZING pile of who-knows-what this headline links to!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1!!!!’ Dear Internet, • You’re right: my attention often shifts. • You’ll need to split this into single sentences in lists • if I’m constantly distracted by your animated gifs. Dear Internet, My penis is fine; to be honest, I don’t even think that it’s mine. But I’ll try it out; I just found out there are hot girls in my area, waiting online! Internet: Dear User, I swear it isn’t me; I follow your instructions and I do it perfectly. I serve your spam and lists and ads and awful poetry. So think before you link to things you did not want to see.
9.
Dear Father, A prayer I remember. Amen. Another, sincere from a vendor, again. As if by reciting just ten or eleven words I’ll lift myself quite transcendentally heavenwards.
10.
Soulette 01:17
You chose your path to heaven, the steep and thorny way. But does it even go there? There were no signs to say. You followed parents blindly 'til your eyes had cleared the bush, then saw the paved and shallow paths; resented parents' push. "Why aren't we going that way?" You asked, and Mother said, "That's not the way to heaven, you'd regret it when you're dead." You didn't quite believe it, but friends said, "she's not wrong," then raised their hands to heaven and filled your mind with song. Mesmerised with music and keen to serve the Lord, you bore your grazes proudly and stumbled boldly forward. Now you scramble through the bramble, in constant sacrifice, filt'ring out the other roads; never thinking twice What happens if you get there, and find you've won no gain... that all your cuts and scratches were suffered through in vain? Parents, friends and preachers pray "Go the steep and thorny way!" There never is a sign to say; Is this the right direction?
11.
All aboard, for the trip of a lifetime, your travel agent: God! You're each assigned two tour guides — just hope they'll do their jobs. We cannot make a promise of five star accomodation, in truth you'll start the voyage in a random situation. A vehicle is provided, though it may not work so well. The length of stay's uncertain, but we hope you'll find it swell. We won't reveal the next stop, just wait until you go there. Xanadu or Timbuktu, Heaven, Hell or nowhere. For all this blurry small print, and lack of guarantee I'm sure you'll find the Earth is an amazing place to be!
12.
Countdown 02:41
I'm ninety eight years old, and I am dying. I'll do the things I still have time to do. I'll grab life and I'll dance, for I will not have the chance to do the rest before I rest I knew that in advance. I'm eighty eight years old, and I am dying. I'll do the things I never dared to do. There's still some room to grow, so I won't lie down below scared to use, afraid to lose the things that soon will go. I'm seventy eight years old, and I am dying. I'll be the me my elders never knew. I'll shatter expectations of already dead relations and they would die to see that I enjoy such deviations. I'm sixty eight years old, and I am dying. I'll do the things I've learnt so well do to. I'll satisfy my hunger to be a wisdom-monger; refine the gold of getting old and glitter for the younger. I'm fifty eight years old, and I am dying. I'll do the things I always wanted to. Put the uniform away and go outside and play I've saved it up Now giddy-up It's not a rainy day! I'm forty eight years old, and I am dying. I'll do the things I came alive to do. I won't live in haste, 'cause there's no time to waste getting stressed to be the best to someone else's taste. I'm thirty eight years old, and I am dying. I'll do the things I really want to do. My time will not be spent to only pay the rent. Find my groove and make the move. It's time to reinvent. I'm twenty eight years old, and I am dying. I'll do the things I don't have time to do, If I want to be a writer, I'll pull a near all-nighter writing rot of life's garrotte, the dead line pulling tighter. I'm now eighteen years old, and I am dying. I'll do the things it interests me to do. I've got some things to learn and I will not miss a turn bored to tears by sev'ral years of what they think will earn. I'm only eight years old, and I am living. I'll do the things you show me how to do. Show me what to do so I can be like you, so I'll be free to be like me. Live long, live short, live true.
13.
Best Rest 00:17
If your plans have not progressed, and stasis leaves you quite depressed, ind- eed, you must stick out your chest, and pray that you’ll be always blessed, and loaf around, remain unstressed and wait for that which comes predestined.
14.
I want to have a couple of problems — just a few, and I’ll make some coffee, and I’ll make it through. Nothing unsolvable, nothing unplanned Just enough trouble that you’ll take my hand and we’ll pull ourselves up, and we’ll face it together, a much better pair for the rains that we weather. We’ll build up some character, have an adventure, Have the fun background that just one in ten share, Make it to live to a hundred or so with some scars and some wrinkles so all the kids know, that they have it easy, and we had it rough and we had a life, while all they have is stuff and they’ll write on our gravestones: they fought till the end and they rarely did bad, not a sin to defend. And we’ll go to the heaven for people like us with our pride and the privilege we’ll never discuss.
15.
Kneel 00:14
They saw the violence, and they kneeled, did not kowtow, and did not yield. A shout of silence that conceal’d the loudest power they could wield.
16.
This dinosaur’s preserved for all to see, so you and I can tell how life got wings. That dinosaur’s preserved in you and me; its atoms passed the years in living things. “This dinosaur the fossil represents, has lasted so much longer than I will,” that dinosaur (in human shape) laments while cleaning off a bone upon a hill. This dinosaur’s remains lay still through eras to show us that its kin were once alive. That dinosaur’s remains run through chimeras though consciousness of neither can survive. This dinosaur thinks nothing in its head. That dinosaur as well will soon be dead.
17.
Soardough 01:10
I dreamed I was flying around on a biscuit 
raised by the bakers of the bread of life, 
their hands cleansed by hand, and not sterile. 
Many hands make gloves expensive. Raised by the bakers of the bread of life, 
I put bread in the shivering hands of the poor.
 Many hands make gloves expensive.
 I wish I could have done more. I put bread in the shivering hands of the poor.
 They ate, and wept in gratitude, and came back hungry.
 I wish I could have done more.
 By serving their need I prolonged it. They ate, and wept in gratitude, and came back hungry. 
They could not bake their own bread without flour.
 By serving their need, I prolonged it; I added minutes to their darkest hour. They could not bake their own bread without flour. 
I have flour, sugar, chocolate chips. 
I added minutes to their darkest hour. 
I dreamed. I was flying around on a biscuit.
18.
Conniving 00:17
Let us watch the rich contriving ways they can continue thriving, cunning tricks to keep deriving profits from their deeds depriving others of the means of striving for a life above surviving.
19.
Love Letters 01:20
A mental syntonicity one day A gentle hint of what we two could be lit just enough my life so I could see that trust in love just might bring rhapsody, exuberant duet of you and me, a music fit to agonise the deaf. By moonlight we could glimpse our apogee Drew closer to alleviate the ache. I saw my glow reflected in your eye, I saw your soul like flesh through négligée, enigma moulding treasure from okay. I leaned a little nearer till I fell in love, and whispered brazenly ‘je t’aime.’ L’amour, the kissing cousin of la haine A congress fit for hedonists, but oh! A princess in our bed, I feel the pea A tiny irritation right on cue A grating indication that we are Two spirits passing through the first caress and driven past into infinity. I’m looking straight ahead and not at you, We’ll separate in steps, but c’est la vie. Although no other man can double you, although no lover can replace this ex, We’re done, and if today you wonder why, remember every A will lead to Z.
20.
Bernard 00:20
A tree would never leave you; it’s your steadfast, loyal bud. A tree would never leave you; it will root for you, come hail or flood. A tree would never leave you; it’s as solid as hardwood. A tree would never leave you, but Bernard would.
21.
Your father, his father, and his before that, Your mother, her mother, and all the way back Have kept a tradition by chance or by will To each have a baby (or several) until The flame’s passed to you, but now you have a choice So don’t join the choir till you find your own voice. Creating a person’s a huge thing to try; You can if you want, but first think about why: Not to continue this age-old tradition Not to be sure that your life has a mission Not for a god or a country or norm, oh Not for a lark, or the whim of a hormone Not for a vague or instinctive desire Not just to copy the folks you admire Not out of fear you’ll leave nothing behind (Not that your DNA outdoes your mind) Not ’cause you’re bright so you should spread your genes Not ’cause you’re dim and don’t know what that means Not to rebel against Mum and Dad’s view Not because they want their vengeance on you Not as a snake oil to quiet your fears That you might feel a twinge of regret in ten years Not when your body clock’s ticking through dates And you’re always a sucker for ‘Buy now! Don’t wait!’s Not because well-behaved babes tug your heart Not so your parents can relive that part Not ’cause your partner would like to have some Not ’cause you’re grateful that Dad convinced Mum Not ’cause you’ve thought of a name you must give Or things you’d do better if you could relive Not when a thoughtless mistake involved sex Not ’cause you’re married and that’s what comes next Not because all of your friends ask why not Not because they’re doing well with their lot Not ’cause you’re told that it’s selfish to live without making a beggar to whom you can give Not because parents say nothing else matters Not to add glue to a romance in tatters Not because children learn more tricks than cats Not to prove your kids would never be brats Not so your welfare amount will be goin’ up Not ’cause you think it’ll make you a grownup Not so they’ll pay for your food in old age (for pyramid schemes have to collapse at some stage) Not to dispel a perceived lack of love Not if you’re not sure, when push comes to shove Not ’cause you heard this and thought, ‘This’ll show ’em!’ Not for the sentiment closing this poem. But only because you adore helping youth and can’t think of life without living that truth. You know that their life-long love’s not guaranteed and you’re yearning to face unconditional need of a boy, girl or intersexed, well, sick or crippled dunce, saint or murderer, one, twins or tripled. You’re deeply concerned the resources you borrow may add to the hardship of grandkids tomorrow and realise your efforts to curb your consumption are more than undone if you make the assumption that your kids survive and continue to breed and their kids spawn ever more hungers to feed. If raising a person is your lifelong dream, and not just a gesture to race with the team then go ahead, try to conceive, but know this: it’s not just a baby that’s made in all this. You remake yourself as you start your new quest, as parent first up, and then some of the rest. From baby’s perspective you’ve made the whole world; you’ve led them from nowhere to cosmos unfurled. So enjoy your big bang and enjoy your inflation, And cherish your well-informed act of creation.
22.
My body keeps my brain alive, like worker bees in sentient hive. Each organ helps the whole to run. Every part, except for one. One part seems to want me dead and murmurs in a monthly threat to hurt, disgrace, abase, efface me, kill me off, but first, replace me. Replace me from its own interior, for I, the brain, am deemed inferior, and if I should refuse to mother, this vengeful organ cues a smother. Smother me in wracking pain. Smother lifeblood from my brain. Smother till I stand no more and wake up gasping on the floor. The floor of where, I can’t recall. I try to move; I hit a wall. Blurred from lack of air, I force it in till eyes perceive the restroom porcelain. Porcelain face with skin torn open. Stumble towards the ibuprofen, The mirror where with sore red gut I tend to where my forehead’s cut. Forehead cut, lump, one black eye, but you should see the other guy! Been bleeding now for seven days! For one more month, it’s scared away.
23.
Spazzing Out 01:03
I shiver with excitement at the coolness of the snow, while flailing in delight at how the flakes float to and fro. They say I shake for heating but my body seems to know the fervor brought by white-on-white of sky and fractal tree, and tenses itself tight on sight of all that’s cool to me. My muscles are excited all the time, and so am I, for music and for science and for humour and for pi[e]. They say my motor cortex might be part the reason why, that these days they can thwart excitement through rhizotomy, but when’s the spazzing fangirl vim and when’s it not o’ me? In summary, my muscles have a tendency to spasm; it seems to me those muscles can’t contain enthusiasm. While technically I’m spastic I can say without sarcasm: it feels like life’s fantastic and my body’s full of squee so let your hair down (don’t relax) and come spaz out with me!
24.
Love/Sick 01:44
Whenever I touch you there is a heat I can’t ignore, inflaming feelings destined to ignite us. There’s tingling in my skin, and I go red from head to floor. Is it love? Or is it contact dermatitis? My weakness is for you; I nearly swoon at your sweet face. My heart misses a beat each time I see ya. Its rhythm is disturbed and all my stress seems out of place. Is it love? or is it arrhythmia? You learn to cook gourmet and then you really go to town, and after the dessert you pop the question. My stomach does ballet and there’s a stirring farther down. Is it love? Or is it indigestion? I tried to play it safe, and we were strict about consent. I’m breathless from your bedside operation. I said I’d die for you; perhaps you don’t know what I meant. Is it love? Or is it lung donation? There’s nothing I can do; I am so helpless in your hands. I’ll stay right here and nobody can thwart us. I’ve fallen hard for you and something’s stiffened in my pants. Is it love? Or is it rigor mortis? Your heavy breathing’s clear from undulations of your chest. My organ is inside you; now I’m onto ya! Deep down I’m really dirty; something’s writhing through my flesh. Is it love? Yes! That was hypochondria.
25.
Wonder/Fool 01:54
When you first read my blog, you thought it sounded really smart. You said you had good taste, and it was yummy. It gave a beating to your brain and matched the beating of your heart. Is it good? Or are you just a dummy? My poems were a gateway to a state of simple bliss. You said you read and re-read every line. You couldn’t think of any work that measured up to this. Is it good? Or is it cognitive decline? When you read my forceful prose, you cracked right up and had a fit, abruptly laughed and cried yourself to pieces. It had you rolling on the floor; you may have peed yourself a bit. Is it good? Or do you get gelastic seizures? When you first read this stanza, you were quite beside yourself. You found this weird recursion really hoopy, said it put Hofstadter to shame, and took his books all of your shelf. Is it good? Or are you strangely loopy? To celebrate my work, you drove a circus through my home. You said my zeepding fluvacque was meticulous. You gave me crowns and laurels made of chopsticks and pink foam. Is it good? Or are you just ridiculous? My œuvre gave you visions; you heard a choir of angels sing. You laughed so hard your aura’s glow became unclear. Your quantum-astral psychics said I’d be the next big thing. Is it good? Of course! The author’s the only sane one here.
26.
I love your body The way it keeps you alive The way it lets you touch me The way it lets us communicate The way it gives you pleasant sensations I don’t love its flaws The way it hurts you The way it makes you sick The way it makes you tired The way it can’t do the things that you want it to But I love that you have it so that I can have you, because brains need energy and there’s no ESP that would show you to me. I love your body I hope it takes care of you and you of it for a love-filled lifetime.
27.
I love your body The way it feels like silk The way it looks good naked The way it smells like your perfume The way it tastes so good in a casserole I don’t love its flaws The way its flesh resists my knife The way its bones don’t decompose The way it won’t fit in my freezer The way its leftovers putrefied, and made my neighbour suspicious, and she tipped off the police, and there was a highly publicised trial, and now I’m in prison for life But I love that you had it so that I could have you, because brains need energy and there’s no KFC with home delivery. I love your body I hope to hold it forever and think of you with a love-filled belly.
28.
A Snacc 00:22
While you’re growing in the field, all your goodness is concealed, till some lovely creature picks you, doesn’t think they have to fix you, lets you chill, let down your shield; then, when you are fully peeled, your sweetest inner self revealed, that cunning rascal bites and licks you.
29.
Don’t trip on the ice; the pain ain’t numbed because it’s colder. Find somewhere cosier to dislocate your shoulder. Trip up on a chair, trip down flights of stairs, trip over a rug. Don’t trip on the ice but trip on a safe and legal drug. Don’t fall on the ice; they won’t believe you when it’s melted. There are more likely ways to end up bruised and welted. Fall from peaceful bird strike when your plane’s hit by a dove. Don’t fall on the ice, that’s not very nice, but fall in love. For you can live with broken bones, but not a broken heart, and if your heart is ice then you are dead right from the start. So break yourself in ice-free ways and when you can’t run free, leave your bones in my safe cage, and leave your heart to me. Don’t slip on the ice; your body slows down the Zamboni. If you must lie still, be a hurdle for a pony. Slip to fill holes in roads, get hurt in a loads-more-useful way. Don’t slip on the ice but slip on a sweet wee negligee. Don’t drop through the ice; you’ll wreck the lake-top’s smooth complexion. Break your own skin to manifest your imperfection. Drop out of the game, drop into a flame, drop dead flambé. Don’t drop through the ice, drop into my life, warm me today. For you can live with broken bones, but not a broken heart, and if your heart is ice then you are dead right from the start. So break yourself in ice-free ways and when you can’t run free, leave your bones in my safe cage, and leave your heart to me. Don’t trip on the ice but trip on a safe and legal drug Don’t fall on the ice, that’s not very nice, but fall in love Don’t slip on the ice but slip on a sweet wee negligee, Don’t drop through the ice, drop into my life, warm me today.
30.
You're not like all those other tools, fond only of their wieners. Yet even as your fire cools, I see a snag between us. Why won't you be my Montague? I'd be your Juliet. I see you at the barbecue embracing Andouillette. That pig, I'd like to pierce her through, and feed her to the cat. She's full of tripe, she smells of poo, The wurst, a spoiled brat. She sizzles near your tenderloins, that visc'ral vivisection. My tines vibrate as she purloins the flames of your affection. I come in closer, she's dead meat. I touch you with a tine. You see my points, I feel your heat, and briefly, we entwine. And then I see the sausage roll to ashes in disgrace. It's my turn now, I'll take control, I vow, I'll take back space. We're stronger than the sausage link, I've seen our stars align. And later in the kitchen sink, I know that you'll be mine.
31.
Chemistry 01:01
I'm really glad to meet ya, you seem just right to me. You've oestrogenic features, and facial symmetry and even just the scent of you's a whiff of possibility, it shows without a centrifuge our histocompatibility. Whenever we're carressin', I find you quite engrossin', I'm filled with vasopressin endorphins and oxytocin. Our closeness is the saviour of my head and of my heart, in- hibiting the causes of myocardial infarction. Your mouth is like no other, I kept your kiss-stained cup. Oh, be my children's mother! Your DNA stacks up. Hold tight while we make lurve and during the sweet act I'll be glad I had the nerve, especially C-tactile. What's that, my anti-phosphodiesterase? You say you are conscious, too? In that case, I'll rephrase: I meant that I love you.
32.
After loving declarations, you should not yet have relations, but evaluate the information cynically. Ask for terms and motivations, and when provided with citations, then concur, and place your arms around them clinically.
33.
≥3 01:02
Love is not mathematics, and it’s hardly ever less than three rarely stops at man and woman, straight and gay or you and me churning contradictions clogging tubes in the definery that’s turning quantum lgbtqbits into binary Every single boolean has every state at once and even if the boolean’s not single it’s still unsettlingly odd and when it’s not odd then it is not even even, oh my god it’s never simple, nothing ever seems to normalise; I miss the clever symbols in the system that I formalised, and this I do not understand, it’s just too complicated. I'm very good at solving so it must be who I dated Yes, love is not mathematics, but forgive it all confusion Don’t avoid all that dramatics with the trivial solution The axioms are ill defined, but may prove good (or may prove well) for with your love you’re thrilled to find you never have to prove yourself
34.
If⟹ 00:15
If you see a proposition, apply to it your intuition, at length, exerting full cognition, come to trivial fruition, and restart with a new suspicion, then you’ll be a mathematician.
35.
“If I have seen farther,” the scientist said, “it’s not because I am a giant. “Great minds of the past have helped me get ahead; it’s their shoulders on which I’m reliant.” “Now listen to me!” said the great on whose shoulder the first one was glad to have stood. “I’m quite short of stature, it’s just that I’m older and those before me were so good.” And sure enough, this one was perched on the neck of a giantist of great renown who balanced in turn on another; by heck! It’s little guys all the way down. And some were thought giants, and some were thought midgets and some were thought nothing at all, but each would insist, “Those below were no idjits. It’s them that have made me so tall.” And scrambling around them their fans would aspire, to see something not seen before by climbing the tower of dwarves, ever higher for glimpses, or footholds, or more. Most could not scale to the summit in time, before their peak fitness would end. Some found it tough and abandoned the climb while some would, with vigor, descend: Aware that such heights were so taxing to reach, they helped to lift people and hopes, inventing new ladders and platforms to teach, securing and showing the ropes. “They might not be giants, but they must go far and that journey isn’t for me. I’ll boost them through science, raise them and the bar and profit from what they will see.” So said the teacher while lifting a child on shoulders so humble and stressed. The youth saw a vista that had them beguiled and bounded straight up to the crest.
36.
Unfriended 00:20
Some folk seem to be offended by the thought the queerly gendered might themselves become offended when they’re purposely misgendered, so they’ve boorishly defended all the hurt that they intended towards the “easily offended” who are “wimps” to try to end it.
37.
The Bookshop 00:53
It pulls the Sun across the sky with wool that’s spun of plots and tied to far-out wonders lost nearby. As warp drives run, space-time will fly and tear asunder passersby and dear assumptions underly- ing vapid slumps they occupy. Climactic undertakers cry, “The chosen one’s about to die!” but Chekhov’s gun’s return is nigh, and set to stun, it acts, whereby, the battle won, the other guy has just begun to say, “Goodbye! Now I’ve got funner f​ish to fry” when all he's done is wrest awry; a bounty hunter dares reply: "Do you have money? Won't you buy? It's eighteen-hundred hours and I should shelve the unbought books and try to count demand and resupply."
38.
Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away, there was light, there was dark, there were no shades of gray. And a war was beginning, and stars were being made, though I don’t know their names or the roles that they played. I know some were ewoks, Storm Troopers and wookiees And Jedi Knights, padawans, masters and rookies, Darth Vader, and C3P0, R2D2, but Einstein couldn’t name them, so don’t expect me to. There were Chewie, and Yoda (the OSV talker) Han Solo, and Leia, of course, Luke Skywalker. There were Pod Racers, Falcons, and starships deluxe and cruisers, and Land Speeders (that and five bucks will get you a Death Star; it looks like a moon but it’s some kind of space station dealing out doom. You would think it would wipe out the good guys, but nup! For some reason, this one’s a cinch to blow up.) I digress. There’s a thing called the Force Luke must use, for the good side or bad? He’s the one who must choose. (Side note: midi-chlorians, what the Force goes on are Force mitochondria, some kind of boson.) So may it be with you, it’s stronger in this one, whose lack of faith hints that there’s something amiss, but I think Obi-Wan puts him on the right track. (That’s a guess. I don’t know who he is. Don’t attack!) I’m a little unclear how the plot goes from there, but it’s not like I’m bumbling around unaware. I know what a mind trick or lightsaber’s for and I know that they’re not the droids I’m looking for. If they sleep in a tauntaun, then someone won’t freeze and for Palpatine’s sake, wookiee’s spelt with two ‘e’s. And it’s Han that shot first, not… uh… Guido? No, Gweebo! He couldn’t shoot first at a wounded gazebo. So this guy named Darth Vader, who breathes through a mask, his wardrobe’s all dark side, you don’t need to ask. Well he tried to convince the young Luke to turn bad, and then (spoiler alert!) he said, ‘Hey, I’m your dad!’ And the princess was somehow Luke Skywalker’s sister, but nobody talked about how he once kissed ‘er. He vanquished his father, who, looking quite gaunt, while wheezing could still somehow scream ‘Do not want!’ The End (and I don’t care what anyone thinks; this poem may suck, but it beats Jar Jar Binks.)
39.
I find the words to make a distant friend, 
and check them twenty times before I send,
 an error-checking code in every byte. We find a space in meatspace we can meet.
 I shuffle past and only see my feet, 
for you I know by words and not by sight. I linger and pretend that I'm not there,
 you find me in the end but I'll not dare 
to speak the words I only know to write. No sooner are they loud enough to hear, 
I go back in my shell for one more year. We meet again, I recognise your face
 but still can't find the words to match your pace.
 They're crushed in scattered pauses far too tight. I watch your wordfights, watch you shoot the breeze 
I savour each riposte at each reprise 
but when they're aimed at me I flee in fright. But battles one by one'll turn to chances; I creep along the tunnel by advances
 and start to see a distant shaft of light but with the light I see my train appear,
 and go back to my home for one more year. When next we meet I'm not so far behind. 
I speak whenever something comes to mind — 
I know your mouth just speaks, it doesn't bite. I speak before I've checked it twenty times. 
I record before I've found some better rhymes — It doesn't matter if it isn't right. For ten mistakes I say a dozen things,
 so why not flap my tongue and flap my wings? 
I take the plunge and try to take a flight, and whack into a wall. It's very clear
 I'll still be in this cage for one more year. I don't succeed in trusting that my best is good enough until I take the test and get a large percentage of it right. I have the proof to save me from my fear. Too bad I moved away from there last year.
40.
If there’s one thing that’s lauded in the internet age, It’s if I want to be applauded I don’t need to go on stage. I could write shit in my bedroom, gathering tweets and shares and likes, but despite it I still head to gatherings known as open mics Because fuck it, our creations need a community, and luck is preparation meeting opportunity, so when Coldplay or "Weird Al" Yankovic come to town and every good opening act mysteriously comes down with a synthetic disease to which I have immunity, I'll be ready to please, dropping rhymes with impunity. ‘Cause I’m a Master of Rhyme; I’ve got a Masters degree, and my thesis was a rhyming dictionary, so I'll be rapping my rants and you’ll be clapping your hands and flapping your panties that you happily planned to throw at fabulous bands and I’ll be nabbing their fans while they are crapping their pants. In real life I’m a hacker and I’m super science-knowledge-y: linguistics and mathematics and some microbiology, but I admit that in the latter I have lax methodology, and for that I say no matter; I present my apology. if your bladder had a splatter, don’t be mad; I tried urology So back to the point: my plan is all about practice. The knack to seem much better than any surviving opening act is. And that may sound unfettered and conniving, but the fact is they lack my well-honed stagecraft and immunoglobulin factors. because I’m perfecting my art and projecting my heart while collecting the hard-earned affection that’s marred by those correctly called 'artists' rejecting my protective injection, electing collective infection, ejecting a shart. And maybe I’m a chump who’s not much better than you but I’ll be number one while you’re going number two. I digress; I’m an open mic nerd; I require us to weary of hearing Free Bird, Miley Cyrus When merely a chord or a word can rewire us and everyone’s here to be heard and inspire us then I'll engineer a deferred norovirus. So now you understand why I’m facing my fears. I’m bracing to be panned while embracing my peers, so I’ve no stage fright when the big stars are here. There’ll be no cage fight; the choice will be clear, because I write each night, I can guarantee ya that my shite’s not trite, or second tier, and the light's so bright I can barely see ya and I’ll be the only artist without diarrhoea.
41.
Ten minutes a day: that’s all you need to realise your dreams — not as hard as it seems! Ten minutes can always be freed. Ten minutes a day, a sixth of a clock, to keep up your writing, the forced march providing the force to march through writers’ block. Ten minutes a day can’t be denied, to read through your bookshelf and castle your rook self, with culture of kings by your side. Ten minutes a day, one day at a time. To inch past the worst of it, combat inertia that nothing excuses, must try if it uses just ten minutes a day. Don’t you forget to learn a new language: word spread, grammar sandwich. Ten minutes to keep your tongue wet. Ten minutes a day, not big amounts, to work on your fitness; don’t tire yourself witless, but even a small workout counts. Ten minutes a day, on or offline to maintain your friendships; accept rain, and send drips, as long as it’s something, it’s fine. Ten minutes a day — find it somehow! Deny social network fun; finally get work done. You’ve got all these things to make, it’s really not hard to take ten minutes a day. That’s all you do. To try meditation — it’s self-re-creation! You have to take some time for you! Ten minutes a day; it doesn’t take long to tidy a tight space, put junk in the right place, and live with things where they belong. Ten minutes a day; put down those chores to teach well your baby; remember that maybe its life will be bigger than yours. Ten minutes a day? I can do that! Grab life while I’m alive! Did all the things, and I’ve got what I’m leaping for now, and I’m sleeping for ten minutes a day. That’s all I need. [yawn] Night dreams are boring, my real dreams are [sound of snoring]
42.
I love your body The way it keeps you alive The way it lets you touch me The way it lets us communicate The way it gives you pleasant sensations I don’t love its flaws The way it hurts you The way it makes you sick The way it makes you tired The way it can’t do the things that you want it to But I love that you have it so that I can have you, because brains need energy and there’s no ESP that would show you to me. I love your body I hope it takes care of you and you of it for a love-filled lifetime. I love your body The way it feels like silk The way it looks good naked The way it smells like your perfume The way it tastes so good in a casserole I don’t love its flaws The way its flesh resists my knife The way its bones don’t decompose The way it won’t fit in my freezer The way its leftovers putrefied, and made my neighbour suspicious, and she tipped off the police, and there was a highly publicised trial, and now I’m in prison for life But I love that you had it so that I could have you, because brains need energy and there’s no KFC with home delivery. I love your body I hope to hold it forever and think of you with a love-filled belly.

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Forty-two poems and songs about life, the universe, and everything.

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released April 8, 2021

Words and vocals by Angela Brett: angelastic.com
Recorded by Philipp Conrad (except Why I Perform at Open Mics)
Mixed at SkyStudio Vienna except where otherwise noted: skystudio.at
Album art by Joseph Camann of Chromatic Verse: linktr.ee/camannwordsmith

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Angelastic Vienna, Austria

A poet, mathematician linguist and coder who built a robot choir to sing for her.

gelastic, adj. relating to or causing laughter

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