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The Rampage

The last time
there was a genuine rampage,
herds stampeding
with the zest of hurricanes,
with the pulsations of a storm,
and the force of destiny,

when the road went up
against the villous ceiling,
when the stronger ones
pushed forward to the cruel
thunder of whips while the zombies
fell back into permanent darkness,

the last time
the cavalry charged
across the whole width of the enemy line
into the gap between life and death,
and not even one single droplet of misery
dripped,

the last time
something really won
and the rest turned into compost

that was when the sperm
made the journey
up the oviduct.

This was 'to be or not to be'.

Since that time we've been tottering round
with the embarrassment of softening skeletons,
with the wistful caution
of mountain gorillas in the rain;
we keep hoping for the time-lapse soul,
secreting
marital problems and
a stationary home metaphysics

against which
the adenosine triphosphate of every fucked-up cell
is like the explosion of a star
in a chicken coop.

.  .  .  .  .  

Submitted by Eldan, who writes: I'm trying very hard to become a scientist without becoming dull and inarticulate like the stereotype. Too few non-scientists can appreciate the beauty of what we study, and too few scientists try to do anything about this. I see Holub as a great example of a scientist actually trying to express the passion of what he did (he passed away a few years ago). This poem is one that I wish I had written even more than I do most of his.


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About the author: I've been running this website from 1997. For a living I write stories and essays, program computers, edit things, and help people launch online publications. (LinkedIn). I wrote a novel. I was an editor at Harper's Magazine for five years; then I was a Contributing Editor; now I am a free agent. I was also on NPR's All Things Considered for a while. I still write for The Morning News, and some other places.

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