POETRY SERIES: Chemical Equation by Hank Kalet

Image by Buckner Sutter 2013




By Hank Kalet 

(from Stealing Copper 2015)

What goes in comes out,
the quantity of elements
remain static, a diesel
blackness coughs from trucks
on the Turnpike, industrial waste
from smokestacks, slivers
of intermittent flame,
a process of transmutation,
fuel into fire into power.
We frack deeper and deeper
into rock and shale, thrust deep
into desert and jungle.
Hydrogen peroxide and flour,
fertilizer and Semtex.
A spark ignites,
an electrical circuit
or a fuse, chemical
reaction of black powder
or smashed atoms above Japan.
In science class, we learned
the law of conservation
of mass, making soap
from lye and Crisco boiled slowly
above a Bunsen burner.
When it gelled, we scooped
it out and rinsed away
the glycerin. Every action,
the textbook said,
has its reaction.
In the Pakistani mountains,
robot drones kill
and on the road to Kandahar
an IED blows a hole
in the rocky soil. Metal
fragments spray out
like water from a cracked pipe.
The black smoke mixes
with soap-gray air
and fires up the sky.


Upcoming Readings from Hank Kalet in the New Jersey area:

Saturday, Sept. 26: Marc’s Place Coffee House, Reformed Church of Highland Park, 19 S. 2nd Ave., Highland Park; 7:30-10 p.m.

Sponsored by Central Jersey Coalition Against Endless War.

The event will feature the discussion “What the Frack? Capitalism, Empire, Climate Change, and the Pope,” speakers, Toby Jones, associate professor at Rutgers, and Kelly Moltzen, climate and food justice.

Tuesday, Dec. 8, Somerset Poetry Series, Somerset County Library, 1 Vogt Drive, Bridgewater; 7-9 p.m.

See More Here



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