Craig Erick Chaffin

Rookie (10/17/54 / Ventura, CA)

Pawn - Poem by Craig Erick Chaffin


My head is beaten like a sunflower,
bowed and haggard, brown petals hanging
like loose, carnivorous teeth, my face
a pale mosaic of shell-ends.

It wasn't the sun that did this, I tell myself,
whose radiation feeds each mouth, root, and field,
whose random electromagnetic signals
form a proper background noise
as in a waterfall or ocean.

It must be satellites and cell phones
leaving these trails in my mind’s cloud chamber.
Does anything stop neutrinos?
At some basal level like the sodium-
potassium pump, isn't my brain affected?

Schizophrenics believe that monolithic transmitters
speak to receivers in their heads,
but I never gave their stories credence.
Yet I feel bombarded, beaten down
by the sun like a sagging sunflower
awaiting the arrival of birds
to pick my cortex clean.

The brain floats in water like the great turtle
upon which the world was built,
but bone is not casing enough
to shield me from the swarm of signals.
Who can prove to me that I am not
controlled by hieroglyphics carved
upon the tiniest neuron like a microchip?

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, September 4, 2008

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