about the author

James E. Allman, Jr. is a Southerner, with degrees in biology and business, but sees life neither dissected nor austerely economized; is now a Database Administrator due to the recent paucity of poet laureate positions (he blames the current recession). For that matter, Burt-Wolf-Substitute would suffice but has, also, failed to materialize, likely linked to the aforementioned economic cause; would also consider Glutton, Wine-Snob, Cigar-Aficionado or Resident-Genius, but pay must outweigh workload. In the meantime, he lustfully admires the poetry of T. S. Eliot, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Mary Karr, B. H. Fairchild & Charles Wright between DDL, DML and DCL; also, in the meantime, has found himself published (or forthcoming) in the following online and print journals: Anemone Sidecar, Black Words on White Paper, The Centrifugal Eye, Glint, Splash of Red and Writers’ Bloc.

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Antikythera Machine

James E. Allman, Jr.

Count them: 32 gears turning an apparatus with the clockwork

                                  of Archimedes,

as if arms and legs
weren’t first made of marrow
or the cut of spurs and teeth
engendered no withdraw.

Clank-clank—the epicyclic                clank
of drive pin and fence,
wheel flies and drive cam spindling.

A locksmith listens intent on combinations—

                                  a supplicant

whose pints of gibberish
before the barkeep translate each genuflection
of elbow and forearm into an out-and-out addiction with alignment;

Summons with a bit of wrist torque,
then click-clack restages the moon:

           Mercury, Saturn,
           Venus, Jupiter, & Mars soon

                                  As above, so below.
Marks the ascendant
star as an artifact
of some luminary tattletale;

who recalls the Greek before
(not after) its salt bath as little more than axioms:

                      oracle minus cog,
                      foster-child of Silence and slow Time;

now with a portent more
like fluid—like fish shifting on an always deepening diurnal tide.

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