Washing Machine of the Week, No. 3

The history of the world from the big bang to washing machine music


Because the only A-Bomb I’ll drop is in a poem…

I have been studying for the GRE. I took the literature subject test last Saturday. I performed better at it than I would have on a physics test. If it were a physics exam, I would fail–no future in building nuclear bombs or discovering the secrets of matter, dark matter, etc. To paraphrase Feynman: physics is like sex–it may give you some practical results but that is not why we do it. Anyway, I take the general exam is this coming Tuesday. Vocabulary and 10th grade math have been somersaulting in my head for three months. Some vocabulary words just do not stick to me. After flash cards, I decided that my best bet is to write poems about new vocabulary or words that I sort of know, but not really.

Today’s poems are brought to you in part by the number 2 and the letter A.


Aberrant means deviating from the

norm; an adjective form of aberration

which is the deviant ‘thing’ in question

like two circles of malaligned colors

who create Venn diagrams against some

grain, where there is overlap is a third

colour is some muting of souls loud

earthen fertility, the splitting of atoms

In other words something aberrant


A kind of willingness typified by eagerness

and enthusiasm should be signified by “alacrity”

Like the supermarket cashier of whom all

remain skeptical. He who can only be undone

by a more extreme individual, like the

customer who with inebriated breath

shakes hands with you and pats the elderly

woman in front of him, deciding at that moment

she’ll walk cautiously to her carefully parked

sedan, but mostly hoping that the bag boy,

who was a wrestler in high school, will escort

her and grant her a request: “Why yes, Ma’am’

I’ll help you out with your groceries”–

This of course said with utmost alacrity.

Sorry, Readers, if you’re out there. My vocabulary did this to me.