by 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-
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…
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.