Lanthanum 1.13

13

He was just a green kid once, but he held his own
soldering iron until it burned his fingertips.
The lessons, mistakes... blistering quips
of pros, old-timers... til he was known

for what he could do. On a straight line
angle a triangle
. Square. String up
a lone hypotenuse (get a grip!)
at least 28 times per milisec. Refine

(redefine) your figures (power of ten).
Moon-calf! That's not how it's done!
Start over (again). From the beginning (if
you can find it). Classroom = iceblock. Frozen.

He falls asleep at his desk. Polar air
through his nostrils. Siberia. Evergreens
atop limestone cliff. Absolute zero. Serpentine
current, snorting steam (some engine there –

horse? Horsepower?) – non-Euclidean.
Elemental. Everywhere. Like a foreign
language in your head, the sunken
pitchdark paw of some titanic, cyclopean

bridge. Concrete (sullen, mammoth, cold).
Here the hero must sell some heroin
to the heroine. A white powder (known
as "horse") which is the lingua franca (sealed

in hexagonal beeswax). Coin of the realm.
Universal solvent. Common denominator.
Drug of choice. Smoke signal.
(Terminator.)
Hellespont. Jason. St. George. Starbright helm.

1.17.09