Thursday, June 13, 2013


A while back I was in a car for two hours with my physics major cousin. I asked him about his work, and we started with the period of a pendulum and ended with why atoms behave differently when you look at them than when you don't. Which still makes no sense.

So, when I was commanded to write a prose poem (which also makes no sense) and my teacher suggested we write about something that had been obsessing us.

So, Thayne. I wrote you a poem. Because apparently I do that. 

When Einstein heard that atoms spun differently when unobserved he said, “That’s not right, and here’s why.” But non-Einsteins with better technology discovered that Einstein was wrong about why. And so, maybe, atoms are like Woody and Buzz, and they live lives that revolve around our looking or not looking, and they dance when we don’t see. Maybe—some of the non-Einsteins say—atoms are a cat in a box that is alive or dead, but you don’t know until you look, and maybe the cat was not either until you looked. But for most non-Einsteins, who live in worlds unlit by Disney or quantum mechanics, action figures don’t dance, and the cat is either dead or alive, and was always dead or alive, and if a tree fell in an abandoned wood it would make a sound. And that’s not because the cat and the tree and the general universe are indifferent to us (though they might be), but because the cat has a life to live, and the tree has a ways to fall, and the universe just has other things to think about.

I'll be out of school soon, I promise to move back into prose.