Contraptions

By Philip Fried

 Seduced by the billiard-ball physics of Rube Goldberg,
 God became addicted to convoluted
 
 Contraptions for accomplishing simple tasks,
 Like the self-operating napkin, ungainly
 
 Gizmo or gadget concocted from skyrocket, pail,
 Soup spoon, and parrot, inspiring Him to create
 
 A Galileo that would knock Aristotle's
 Head against Plato's, activating a shout
 
 Eureka! as feathers tumbled out of the sky
 Like lead, a mass of them depressing a lever
 
 That with a whirr released a pendulum
 To swing from the leaning tower toward Mrs. Laufer's
 
 Class and trigger a siren impelling us 
 To duck and cover, hands over eyes, averting
 
 Our faces from the windows, protecting our sight
 From the fireball that would soon be melting the glass.


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About Philip Fried

Philip Fried, a New York-based poet and little-magazine editor, has published three books of poetry: Mutual Trespasses (1988); Quantum Genesis (1997), which A.R. Ammons called "a major new testament"; and Big Men Speaking to Little Men (Salmon, 2006), which — said Marilyn Hacker — "represents much of what I admire in contemporary American poetry. . . ." His most recent book of poetry is Cohort (Salmon, 2009), which D. Nurkse characterized as "Tense with dark wit and wild originality." Fried also collaborated with his wife, the fine-art photographer Lynn Saville, on a volume combining her nocturnal photographs with poetry from around the world. And he is the founder of The Manhattan Review, an international journal that for three decades has published the best in Anglophone poetry and translations.

In 2014, Salmon Poetry published Philip Fried's sixth book of poems, Interrogating Water, which focuses on the national security state. British poet Carol Rumens called the book "outstanding" in The Guardian and praised it for "the valor and vision of its protest."

4 Comments

  1. Posted March 2015 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    Well Done!!

  2. Laura Bailey
    Posted March 2015 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    I remember the time…Thanks for the memories!

  3. Orooj Ahmed Ali
    Posted March 2015 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    Good reading indeed!
    Orooj Ahmed Ali

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