Science & Technology

 
 
The night I went fishing with Joe Davis
from the Institute of Technology
      (Written after a symposium on the human genome project
      and the response by Joe Davis, Artist In Resident, Research Associate,
      Department of Molecular Biology, MIT, April 4, 2001)

Paramecium thump when they bump it's-an-honest-to-god-fact--
Joe told me so and he rapped his steel peg across the wide stage
pacing his brain's maze where the ghost of minotaur roams.

It's all the same, he said, if you're fishing for paramecium or Moby or shrimp.
Grab the computerís digital pole: Hold on --to elevator wire and cranes
that lift 46 tonsÖabout the same as a sperm or narwhale--

or to a very small hook of less than a quarter mil--
attached to the electricity of the tiniest scope--
and feel the flutter of shrimp, or bump of that one-celled paramecium thing.

So Joe fished the helix of DNA bright; coded the proteins into binary and lo,
the printout revealed the 1ís and O's. Then he put it into Morse
and parsed a Bible verse and found the deeper you go, the more you canít know.

Finally, he took a map of the Milky Way, and coded it CTGA like the genes of a mouse
slipped it into E. coli's strand and then into the sperm of a mouse, and voila the new mouse
had a galaxy inside of its ear and a big ear it was, like the Dumbo of childhood.

So I took the random form of a mathematical force and fell into bed, frustrating
attempts of an easy, linear solution, and assumed a newer hybrid form:
that of a telematic cyborg that evolved into a space attached to a black hole that was my very own ear.




Copyright 2008,  Mary Lynne Evans

"This poem was written after a symposium on the human genome project , and the artist's response by Joe Davis, Artist in Residence, Research Associate, Department of Molecular Biology, MIT, April 4, 2001. The symposium was held at the Henry Gallery. After hearing Joe's talk, I could hardly stay earth bound. It was so exciting. Presently I live in Seattle and India, and am still writing."



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