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SHORTS: the law of diminishing returns
wendz

so what are you studying?
 1
medical science, i tell them.
 2
 
 
blank faces.
 3
 
 
it's composed by a number of disciplines,
 4
i explain: bloods, germs, the immune system, tissues, cells and biochemistry; how everything works. fluidly.
 5
 
 
oh, someone will invariably say,
 6
i've got a cousin/uncle/friend who does that.
 7
 
 
i'll nod, and say yeah, it's not bad;
 8
pathology's pretty interesting.
 9
 
 
truth is, people are pretty interesting too.
 10
 
 
***
 11
 
 
girl in my haem class,
 12
neatly cropped short brown hair,
 13
skin starting to grow out of adolescence.
 14
 
 
she stands slightly apart from the group,
 15
clicking her fingers and drumming them on her shorts,
 16
bulky backpack strapped on, it's some surf brand.
 17
 
 
she wears expensive sunnies,
 18
a brown woollen jumper,
 19
and i'll bet that nobody would ever guess that in our first transfusion science class, she killed a patient.
 20
 
 
***
 21
 
 
goth guy doesn't look like he gets much vitamin d.
 22
he has black, unkempt hair which is always a bit too long
 23
and i don't think he's ever used shampoo.
 24
 
 
i used to drive past him on the way to class,
 25
see him standing on one hip, headphones on,
 26
a sullen look for every occasion.
 27
 
 
he once told me that he didn't like the kids who dressed gothic and hung out at the post office after school.
 28
 
 
***
 29
 
 
saber's from the middle east.
 30
his government sent him over from saudi to study.
 31
all expenses paid, hell he's already a biochemist back home.
 32
 
 
when i asked him and arena who was going to label the DNA with radioactive isotopes, he smiled and said that he'd already had children, so he wouldn't mind doing it.
 33
 
 
saber's only thirty.
 34
 
 
***
 35
 
 
in the sun, under the pergola, in the garden
 36
stands a fountain with a stone missing.
 37
 
 
the water is a murky, algae infested green
 38
and would probably give one meningitis if one was deranged enough to drink from it.
 39
 
 
smart asian guy sat down next to me,
 40
asked why i was always scribbling in my book.
 41
asked if i wrote poetry, could he read it.
 42
 
 
i say what makes you say that
 43
and he says because i know.
 44
maybe my english not so good,
 45
but you ask questions and so -
 46
curious - about everything.
 47
 
 
in the sun, under the climbing trellis,
 48
the skies flew on overhead, heat stood still,
 49
voices hushed into gentle hues of mute,
 50
he wrote, and i became the poem.
 51

"the more steps you take, the less you end up with"

15 Mar 07

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Comments:

the way this rolls down the page ... very nice. i love the way you structured this, with the stars in between thoughts, with the lack of capitalization, somehow that helped the ease of this poem, which i like the most---that ease. so smooth, and free. was this a free write?

though maybe i don't like the caps lock on shorts. i know it is an irony, in that the word shorts is ... well, short, but you capitalize it anyway.

great poem, either way.
 — listen

Hey, listen, thanks for the love :) This was indeed a free write. A back to school thing, I wrote segments of this here and there in last year's diary, then just edited it in the post.

I understand your concern with the capitalisation of "SHORTS". It's sort of like an inside joke, I guess, with myself. And truth be told, I don't really quite understand the joke myself xD

Thanks again for the nod :)
 — wendz

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