Feb 272010

tesla coilby Stephan Mead


In his dreams he saw lightning, a frenzy

fit for Beethoven choreographed to a show stopper.

He thought it appropriate to live in such brilliance,

to harness that magic and, by a mere flick of the switch,

have the power of Thor.  In photos, he looked normal enough,

one might even say conservative.  Picture him for a minute

sitting before a  generator’s huge coils.  Suddenly electricity

oscillates, jagged arcs soaring.  Meanwhile, spark oblivious,

he sips chamomile, back straight, long legs crossed at the

knee, his thin hands scribbling notes.   Those rays spread

about him, fiery moth wings.  He goes on writing, un-

touched .


people jeered, found his math pathological, his ideas absurd.

Can the imagination be radical?  Transformed, he transmitted

it, two million erratic beaming volts, the ionosphere refined.

To almost have a grasp on weather, the heavens…

To receive frequencies through fingertips and hold them,

a nimbus glowing…

To envision the cosmos like a crystal ball

with a few equations, certain formulas, safecracker work…


came static,

a falling star’s reclusive business.

He took to nursing hurt birds, lived in a shabby hotel.

Splinting wings, tending to feathers, he felt

the frenetic pulse quivering, that metronome beat

intimate to the intransient blaze—-

the future, the future which was not his.