Saturday, August 20, 2016

The Sunday Poet: Mark L. Levinson

Mark L. Levinson

Mark L. Levinson grew up in Greater Boston, earned
a degree at Harvard College, and moved to Israel where
he has been active in the local community of English-language
authors while making his living as a writer for software companies.
He also translates from Hebrew to English.



A Livermore, California, light bulb

has been burning one hundred seven years,

day and night, according to the paper.

The man there says the seal was made so well

no air can get inside the bulb “to help

disintegrate the carbon filament”.

We have a carbon filament somewhere,

I would suppose.  We have everything else.

Old business cards, unplayable cassettes,

souvenir pencils, fragrant candle stubs.

Our carbon filament would never be

so thoroughly protected from the air.

Protection doesn’t do us.  Luck, maybe.

Never have we been sealed from relatives,

from military call-ups, from neighbors,

from dogs, from jealousy, from history,

from CTs, from TVs, from CVs,

from fortune tellers, from timeshare sellers,

tourists, manicurists, coasters, florists,

toasters, roasters, chorists, posters, boasters,

misgivings, misapprehension, mistrust.

The man in Livermore, California,

says: “This bulb operates in a vacuum
and it doesn’t burn hot.  That’s the secret.”

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